The first time I saw Autotelic was one Friday evening when I was in Saguijo, trying to write a blog while half smashed on some rank whiskey. There are times when I just have to write while drunk and listening to some deafening rock music. I found that a dive like Saguijo is one of the best places to do just that.
So there I was, trying to wring out every ounce of writing and hugot in my alcohol addled brain, when Autotelic walked over and started setting up near the small bar where I was seated. They were a fairly big outfit with six or so members (counting never was one of my strong points, I just did not have the patience for that sort of thing). When they came out with the synths and the keytar, I immediately expected some sort of Pedicab clone, a bastard child of electronica and pop trying to pass off as rock music (in no way however does this mean that I do not like all three genres).
When their vocalist, Josh, came up on stage, he started mumbling on the mic, trying to introduce themselves, and I never quite understood what he was saying. You could detect a slight air of nervousness in the way he spoke, as if he was uncomfortable with crowds. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.
Then they started playing. They were playing with a passionate musicality that saturated the whole of Saguijo, threatening to drown us in a tsunami of sound. It was pop, but a pop that was powerful and melodic at the same time. It was like being drowned in pop. They went on and on, wave after wave of synths and guitars. It was not unrelenting, their music ebbing and flowing, telling a story with their music. Then Josh sang. He sang with a thoughtful emotion, words that were clearly filled with longing and plaintive need but not overwhelmingly bittersweet.
And their songs, they resonated with me. Misteryoso speaks of a knee weakening love at first sight. Dahilan is all about slowly losing grip of the things you love. Unstable is all about our human frailty.
In the end, you get the feeling that every element had purpose. It is therefore somewhat apropos that the in the dictionary, the word autotelic meant to find your purpose from within. That was their music. Purposeful. Driven.
These were the things that spoke to me during that time. I was hooked. This was music I could write to. After that I found myself writing and writing, under the thrall of this powerful music.