Thursday, October 20, 2011


I listen to and am inspired by a lot of music, but the album that has most directly influenced Autohypnosis over the past few years is Portishead's self-titled release from 1997.

I was a fan of their single "Sour Times" (from their first album, Dummy) in the mid-'90s, but after that I didn't listen to them for years. It was in 2004 that I got introduced to the self-titled album, and I immediately connected with it.

Crashing beats. Dark, moody, mysterious instrumental music. And Beth Gibbons' tortured vocals that are intermittently -- and sometimes simultaneously -- frail and aggressive. These elements combine to form one of the most unique works of music I've ever heard.

I think part of the reason I felt such a strong connection is that I heard in their music some of the things I hoped to accomplish with my own, particularly in terms of combining big beats with nuanced but kind of dirty-sounding instrumental music. After getting a good sampling of that album for the first time and feeling very inspired, I quickly came up with the drum beat that drives my song "The Numbers." (Listen here.)

As the years have passed, that album has remained a favorite to listen to and an inspiration. It's pretty common for artists of any medium to discover works by others that they feel they're constantly chasing, in terms of trying to achieve that level of greatness. There are a few albums that fit that scenario for me, and Portishead is near the top of the list.

On Tuesday of this week, I got to see Portishead live for the first time. While they only did two songs from the self-titled album ("Over" and "Cowboys"), it was an incredible show, and it has me reenergized for creating more music.


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Listen to every Autohypnosis song and get a free mp3 of "In the Loop":

Monday, September 26, 2011

The dialogue (and lack thereof) of "Post-Everything"

Post-Everything by Autohypnosis

One of the most experimental songs I've ever recorded is "Post-Everything," the closing track on Conversation (in) Pieces. It also turned out to be one of my favorites.

Of particular note is the first two and a half minutes of the song, which features a collage of voices speaking over a swelling wall of sound.

I had the album just about wrapped up in terms of recording and editing, but the last remaining puzzle piece was the "Post-Everything" intro. I had recorded several other ideas for it, but none of what I'd come up with felt satisfying.

Then it hit me what the song -- and the album -- needed: other people's voices. When the idea came, it seemed so obvious, especially considering the tone, theme and lyrics of the rest of the album.

So I solicited help from friends and fans who had the ability to record their voices on their computers. A handful of folks signed up, and I sent them each a few lines to read, encouraging them to record each line several times and read them slightly differently each time. I'll be forever grateful to those awesome people who contributed.

It was a detailed and time-consuming but very fun process to edit them all together, and I'm still blown away by the great readings I got. I think the cumulative effect of all those voices coupled with the background sounds is pretty powerful, and I'd be curious to hear what others think.


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Listen to every Autohypnosis song and get a free mp3:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some song and performance history

Autohypnosis performing live in Greensboro, N.C., in 2005.

A bit of Autohypnosis trivia: Some of the songs on Conversation (in) Pieces date back as far as 2003. In fact, more than half of the album was written at the time The Surface was released in March 2006.

A few examples:
  • I wrote the oldest of the songs, "The Blame," in the spring or summer of 2003. At the time, I was the singer in a rock band called The Big Secret, and we played "The Blame" at a few gigs that summer.
  • "Recurring Dream" was also written in 2003. That fall, my friend Jason and I traveled from North Carolina to Louisiana to catch a Radiohead concert. The day of the show, I played a stripped-down version of that song for Jason on the piano at my parents' house, which was the first time anyone heard it.
  • "Thanks a Million," "Sleeper Down" and "Fake It" were all written in 2004, when I was working toward finding a sound that lived somewhere between electronic and rock music.
  • I wrote both "Electricity" (from The Surface) and "In the Loop" during the summer of 2005. I briefly considered including "In the Loop" on The Surface but ultimately decided it was better suited for a different project (which, of course, turned out to be Conversation (in) Pieces).

In 2005 and 2006, I did solo Autohypnosis live performances in North Carolina. In addition to songs from The Surface, I played "In the Loop," "Sleeper Down," "Fake It" and "Razor-Sharp and Paper-Thin" at various times. I kept a meticulous log of my live set lists, which you can read here.

It's been five years (where did the time go?) since I've performed live. Will there be more Autohypnosis shows? I honestly don't know. One of the hardest decisions I have to make is whether to devote most of my all-too-scant free time to working on new recordings or preparing a live set and trying to book gigs.


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Listen to every Autohypnosis song and get a free mp3:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

PAST /// PRESENT /// FUTURE ::: years and music

Conversation (in) Pieces took five years to complete, which is a ridiculously long time. But there are a couple main reasons why it was such a lengthy process.

First, during that five-year period, I moved halfway across the country twice -- first from Greensboro, North Carolina (where I wrote 95 percent of the album) to my hometown of Thibodaux, Louisiana (where I recorded the bulk of the album); then from Thibodaux to Los Angeles (where I wrapped up the recording, went through the grueling process of editing all the tracks, and got the album mixed). Moving and settling into a new city is always time-consuming, but it can also be inspiring creatively, and that was the case with both of my moves.

Second, during the time I spent recording and editing Conversation, I was also working on lots of other music (which I continue to refine) that I plan to gradually put out over the next few years. So while I was not happy about having a five-year gap between the first two Autohypnosis releases, I'm planning on making up for that by releasing new material more often.


Listen to every Autohypnosis song and get a free mp3:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

New album + music video + free mp3

The new Autohypnosis album, Conversation (in) Pieces, is out today.

Visit the official Autohypnosis site at to listen to the entire album and download a free mp3 of the single "In the Loop."

And here is the brand-new music video for "In the Loop":

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Autohypnosis album available for pre-order

Hi, everyone. I am very excited to announce that the new Autohypnosis album, Conversation (in) Pieces, is finally finished. It has 15 songs, is more than an hour long and is quite musically diverse.

You can listen to clips of all the songs and learn more about it here:

The official release date for it is August 9, but this week only (July 25-29), I am having a special pre-sale in which you can buy the CD very inexpensively (and I'll ship CDs anywhere in the world).

Here's where you can get more details on the pre-sale and place an order:

It's taken me a long time to finish this album, but I'm very happy with it, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Thanks a million for your patience,



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Autohypnosis album coming late this summer

I'm very excited to announce that the audio of the next Autohypnosis album is finished. I'll soon be sending off files to have CDs manufactured, and a release date and more details will be forthcoming. I invite you to sign up for the Autohypnosis mailing list and connect on all the social networks you use:

Saturday, March 05, 2011

"Electricity" used in student-made energy-conservation video

A team of students from Edgehill Elementary in British Columbia used the Autohypnosis song "Electricity" in a video they made for an energy-conservation campaign/contest (the BC Green Games).

Check it out and vote for them!