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Spotlight: Tennis

“The duo continue their drift from lo-fi throwbacks to crisp modern pop, while maintaining the preoccupation with marital love that has animated their records since the beginning.”

At a time when we often attempt to characterize and label everything, Tennis continue to defy genre limitations. The husband-and-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have evolved their sound in exciting ways since their formation in Denver back in 2010, two years after first meeting in a philosophy class while both were students at the University of Colorado. They’ve churned out dependable indie-pop hits in the dozen years since. Things culminated with a creative peak on their 2020 album Swimmer, which gave indie rock radio a pair of dependable and enduring hits in “Runner” and “Need Your Love.” 

Swimmer is an album that deserves all the praise, especially after what it endured. First released on Valentine’s Day 2020, it immediately met the next month’s pandemic wave that caused a global pause and seemingly endless tour cancellations. The duo dubbed the record “our most beloved offspring”, and now two years on it’s finally getting its due, the songs glowing under stage lights. 

If we need a Swimmer to hit the nearby Quincy Bay, we know who to call. Here’s some press praise: 

Pitchfork: “The duo continue their drift from lo-fi throwbacks to crisp modern pop, while maintaining the preoccupation with marital love that has animated their records since the beginning.”

Paste: “Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley continue to serve up love songs that sound like they’re rescued from decades past.” 

PopMatters: “Increasingly sophisticated… Tennis’ Swimmer is a distillation of everything they do so well, and it further establishes them as a dynamic, sophisticated pop act worthy of even bigger stages.”

Happy Mag: “On Swimmer, Tennis have reached a new level. The album emerges from a time of darkness, following a series of unfortunate circumstances after the release of their 2017 album, Yours Conditionally. Yet, as the band aptly point out: Swimmer is not a dark record.

Instead, Swimmer, feels like a moment of self-actualisation, an embracing of lightness – and on their fifth album, Tennis can do no wrong.”

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