Summer Listening: Tennis

This is the second in a series where we take off our Fulham hats, put on music-blogging hats, and suggest a band to check out this summer. Apologies if you think our selections suck, but we’d rather write about this than complain about our lack of forwards when it is only June 20th.

Tennis is one of those bands that you secretly enjoy but dare not tell anyone. In fact, I didn’t even want to write this little post. But, after listening their sophomore album Young and Old on the ride home from summer league frisbee Monday evening after a few months off from them, well, I just had to.

I suppose what causes this guilty pleasure about Tennis is how harmless they sound. You could probably play this for your parents and they’ll bop their heads. Your friends that don’t like “indie” music will probably bop their heads too.

The band, composed mainly of married couple Alaina Moore (vocals and keys) and Patrick Riley (guitar), create some of the best dream pop this side of Best Coast. But, unlike other dream pop contemporary Beach House (spoiler: the next music post), the songs are the type you listen to constantly for a month, and then move on to something else. Which happened to me in February and continued through March. Part of this could be the fact that only one song clocks in at over three and a half minutes. Another is that they’re much more polished than the likes of The Drums, Best Coast, Dirty Gold, and the similar ilk, so there’s not much to explore after awhile.

Yet, starting with the catchy mellow silvery strumming on opening track “It All Feels the Same” as the perfect hook, and continuing through “Origins”, “Petitions”, Take Me to Heaven” to the indisputable standout track “My Better Self” (though still trying to wrap my head around that video…) the first dozen or so listens are beyond enrapturing. If you get initially get hooked, it’ll be hard to put them down.

Now, I haven’t had a chance to delve into their debut Cape Dory as much as Young and Old, so perhaps this recommendation is only half-completed in that sense that I’m selling them short. So my apologies on that. But if there’s an album for those breezy, timeless summer evenings at the beach where the sun is out until 9:30pm or so (later for you Brits, right?), this just may be it.

But hey, it’s already halfway through June. So my by count, by the time you grow tired of them it’ll be autumn and you’ll want spartan acoustic pensiveness over unobjectionable fuzzy dreaminess.


Tim Gelles is a writer for Craven Cottage Newsround. A Fulham fan since 2006 when he saw Fulham defeat an Iain Dowie led Charlton. He resides in Baltimore. E-mail him or follow him on twitter.

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