Even though they are based in Denver, Co., deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the band Tennis has an aesthetic and a backstory that seems more at home on some sunny coastline.
Husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley were just two budding, young college philosophy students when they met. After graduation the two scrimped and saved, got themselves a sailboat and took a leisurely months-long cruise up and down the East Coast. The couple had honed their musical chops in bands before the trip, so instead of creating some photo slideshow, they decided to tell the story of their journey through song. Tennis’s first LP Cape Dory, released in January 2011, is full of lo-fi, early girl group-style pop songs inspired by their trip.
Tennis takes an, “if it ain’t broke…” approach to their follow up Young and Old, which was released yesterday. It follows much of the same sweet-pop formula, albeit with some added production sheen (care of The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, who produces the record). The album’s first single “Origins” is today’s song of the day. Over a sweet and sunny pop song, singer Moore works through some deep feelings of lover’s torment. “Sensitive heart, you’re doomed from the start, Meant to play the penitent part,” sings Moore in the song’s first couplet. It’s a bit of pop chiaroscuro that makes the song, and the band, such an interesting listen.