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Day 353: Tennis – Young & Old

16 Feb


What a week it has been for the indie rock world.  With an inadvertent(?) fun. upload by the band’s own label on Sunday, followed by Sleigh Bells 12 hours later, it’s not surprising that Tennis has been all but ignored.  To my knowledge, Young & Old didn’t even leak, which is kind of a slap in the face for a young band in the indie-sphere.  Records seem to surface early on the Internet only if there is a lot of hype/anticipation surrounding their release.

Don’t worry Tennis, I didn’t forget about you.  Cape Dory was one of the first records that I checked out for Swole Ear, and I’ve been following this band ever since.  Tennis is easily one of the most underrated bands making music today, with a sound that should have taken the world by storm after that first record came out last year.

The duo seems to have abandoned the nautical theme on this record, as the eight-month sailing trip that originally inspired them to record moves further and further back in the rearview.  Most of the lyrics on Cape Dory revolve around that trip, with quite a few lines with double meanings.  This time around, Tennis decided to slap us in the face with their pathos—these songs are about love, and leave almost no sailing metaphors to dissect. That left me a little disappointed.  Not many bands write songs about boats, unless there’s some weird metal sub-genre that I’m unaware of . . . ocean-core, or something.  Musically, however, these songs will have no problem transporting you to some boat off of a Cape Cod shore.  Dreamy, pitch-perfect singing, paired with those good ol’ jangly/trebly guitars sound as if they belong to the sea.

Day 13: Tennis – Cape Dory

13 Mar

Long Boat Pass

This is a band called Tennis.

This is an album about sailing.

There, now that we’ve gotten the fact that this is the preppiest thing you will ever hear out of the way, let’s talk about this album.

Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, the husband and wife duo behind this band, decided to sell all of their stuff and sail around the east coast for a few months.  Naturally, when they got back, they started making music about their experience.  And for some reason, it’s really freaking good.  The album, named for a sailboat company, consists of ten short indie-pop songs.  Moore has a great voice, which fits perfectly with the relaxed, easy-going nature of the album.  Honestly, this album sounds to me like it should have come out in the sixties.  The carefree jangly guitars seem to come straight from that era, but that’s just me.

The one downfall of the album is its reliance on its concept.   Yes, we get it.   You two spent a year on a boat.  You faced hardships that tested not only your sailing skills, but your commitment to each other.   Really, you’ve driven these points home.  They throw their journey right in your face, and it get’s a little obnoxious.  Especially if you have a disdain for preppy people like I do.  Ultimately, I was able to look past the preppiness and overused concept, and appreciate this album for what it is: a solid, short collection of love songs.

Tennis is kind of out of luck for any future albums though.  What are they going to do, write another album about that trip they took?  They’re really going to have to expand their content if they hope to continue making music.