Autopilot is for Lovers is one of those rare Portland combinations of intimate musicianship and sincere urgency…actually backed up by talent. Anchored by multi-instrumentalist Paul Seely (formerly of The Builders and the Butchers, now also guitarist in Dr. Helicopter), Autopilot maintains a choral arc over their indie-rock kitsch. This isn’t a dig on them – they have simply nailed all corners of folk, orchestral-pop, gloomy rock, and railway blues into one cohesive presentation. The effect is eerie and fresh, as is evidenced on their debut album To the Wolves, released last spring.
Vocalist Adrian Hatkin (also Seely’s fiancee) weaves warbly melodies throughout tracks like "Pessimist," like a New Age Stevie Nicks with a newfound love of accordions. The result from the spiraling din of instrumentation, melodies plucked from the Maker, and the combined efforts of cellist Jessie Dettwiller, violinist Emily Nelson, and bassist Sterling Myles, is engaging, if not inspiring. If you don’t believe me, go listen to "Workhorse Blues" right now. Or if you don’t trust me, would you trust NPR?
You can see for yourself tonight, when Autopilot is for Lovers takes the stage at Portland’s favorite funeral-parlor-turned-music-venue The Woods! Opening the show will be former Deli Portland band of the month winners Porches, who’ve been skippin’ up an Americana whirlwind all over town as of late, showcasing the floppy mane of guitarist/bad dude Keenan Cloud, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Olson, saw(ist?) Matt Radke, and…hey what do you know! Paul Seely! Among other equally amazing band members whom I’m spacing the names of.
The whole goddamn thing is a recipe for rad. Mr. Frederick rounds out the bill. Tickets are $5 in advance, $5 at the door. Doors at 8:00 p.m., show at 9:00 p.m. 21 and over.
– Ryan J. Prado