Let me first set the scene for this album: You’re drifting along the ocean waves in a sailboat, cozied up beside your loved one. The sun is slowly setting, and the entire horizon lies before you… Sounds impossibly romantic and sweet, right? This is reality for Tennis, arguably the cutest married-couple band in indie pop today.
Originally hailing from the mountainous Denver, Colorado, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley wrote this album after sailing for eight months across the Atlantic. Their debut album as Tennis retains much of the whimsy and vague nostalgia of their trip: the slightly muffled production, lazily-strummed guitar chords and Alaina’s abundant “ooh-wah’s” are sure to teleport you back to the ’60s. This overarching retro-summery theme ensures the album is cohesive, but the lack of tonal variety from song to song risks a one-note sound profile if you listen to the album nonstop. However, Tennis’ catchy songwriting and solid harmonies more than make up for this pecadillo of redundancy.
As the super fun concert in Walker Lounge last semester proved, Tennis’ music is perfect for dancing the night away! Stellar tracks such as “Marathon” and “South Carolina” invite hopping back and forth à la Peanuts characters, and if you’re in the mood for a slow dance, you can try the mellower “Bimini Bay”.
Overall, Cape Dory is an incredibly endearing cutesy-pop album that grows on you with every listen. Even though Valentine’s Day has already passed this year, you could stage your own little romantic getaway anytime with Tennis!
Cape Dory was released January 18, 2011 by Fat Possum Records.
Review by Rachel Davidson