Tennis – Young & Old


Artist: Tennis
Title: Young & Old
Record Label: Fat Possum Records
Rating: 7.3

The Denver indie pop trio Tennis’ newest release and second album Young & Old is set for release this coming Valentines Day. With production from The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, the album follows their first LP Cape Dory and matches the nostalgic, breezy feel their debut announced.

Made up of husband and wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, Tennis was formed when James Barone joined the band on the drums. And if you haven’t heard the story before, the couple formed the band fresh from a seven month sailing trip down the Atlantic Seaboard. Fittingly, their first EP was under the Underwater Peoples label – the band started creating a dreamy, summery vibe that seemed sure to be influenced by their trip, they were writing music together “as a way to document the history of their shared experience”.

Young & Old was recorded in Nashville and produced by Black Keys’ drummer Carney, far from the bedroom recording project their music making started out as. “It All Feels The Same” begins the album with a light and airy vibe, the chorus brings in doubts from Moore; “we could be good but we don’t live the way that we should, constantly told we’re imperfect and cannot be good”. The melody is infectious nonetheless.

Single “Origins” has interesting, jangly guitar elements dashed throughout and more unfaltering vocals from Moore, it’s one of the best tracks on the album. “Traveling” goes back to the band’s ultimate inspiration; traveling, and loving and feeling good in the sun. “This must be love, it must be love, because nothing can compare” it’s almost sickly, and perfect for it’s February 14th release date. “My Better Self” is composed of one of the more captivating refrains and a well rounded track.

“Petition” is a bouncy number, as is “Robin” and “Dreaming” for that matter, the songs have many similarities in the way they evolve as happy, airy ditties. Even “High Road” in which Moore sings the lyrics “paradise is all around but happiness is never found” isn’t exactly a down tempo song or vastly different in it’s arrangement. It would be nice to hear something a bit different from the group even though it’s the slower, twee songs that they do well, I would like to hear them stretch their boundaries.

Young & Old is upbeat, catchy and full of yearning which is all very well however the question now is, where do Tennis go from here?

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.


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