Outside it was snowing, but inside the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wisconsin on February 21, 2011 it could have been a beach-party-movie-themed prom. Tennis‘s mix of surf- and retro-influenced rock & roll and seaworthy lyrics, coupled with the utterly adorable story of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley falling in love and taking to sea made for a cozy night of adoration.
Kicking off with the sublime tune “Seafarer”, Tennis played a good chunk of their debut album Cape Dory as well as introduced a surprising number of new songs for having just put out their album a month ago. The new music was as chipper as ever and made it evident that a second album is something to look forward to.
While guitarist Riley was mostly in his own world, Moore seemed to feed off him while simultaneously connecting with the crowd. Her most endearing moment came late in the set when she danced the Pony, her tiny frame floating on the beat.
Though their set was on the predictably short side (their only album clocks in at around 30 minutes), Tennis was able to make everyone forget it was winter, if only for a little while.
So here’s the thing: some albums are great and warrant in-depth analysis or paragraph upon paragraph of praise. On the flip side, some albums are great and could suffice with a review that simply states, “this record is well worth the half hour you’ll spend getting hooked.” Cape Dory is among the latter. Just as it’d be semi-ridiculous to bring War and Peace to the shore as your beach read, it’d be equally silly to bog down Tennis’s buoyant debut with a mountain of words.
Written and performed by Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley after logging seven months and 2500 miles together at sea, Cape Dory is as much a love letter to the sand and surf as it is to each other. Moore’s candy-coated voice crests over Riley’s beach-blanket-bingo guitar and the winter blues are immediately wiped away. “Seafarer” and “Marathon” will immediately stick with you with the rest of the album coming close behind.
Cape Dory drops 01.18.11.
Find out more about Tennis here.
Jon Kjarsgaard (that’s pronounced cares-guard) of Jonk Music acts as a daily curator/aggregator for songs and writing clips from around the internet – he sorts through it all so you don’t have to. Jon was kind enough to volunteer to make us a mix while chatting over drinks a couple weeks ago, and compiled this lovely ode to sand, summer, and being in love. Whether you’re in a cubicle or oceanside, this mix is the sonic equivalent of salt-spray on summer skin.
SUMMER JAMS ’10
01| Dom – Living in America
02| The Pass – Cross Walk Stereo
03| Best Coast – Boyfriend
04| Wavves – King of the Beach
05| Beat Connection – In the Water
06| Beach Fossils – Daydream
07| Superhumanoids – Hey Big Bang
08| Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
09| Evan Voytas – I Took A Trip on a Plane
10| Rai Knight – New New
11| The Naked and Famous – Young Blood
12| Lemonade – Lifted
13| Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill
14| Tennis – Marathon
15| Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Vocal Chords
16| Cults – Go Outside
17| Twin Sister – All Around and Away We Go
18| Wild Nothing – Summer Holiday
19| The Suzan – Home
20| Minks – Funeral Song