Tennis | Swimmer | Album Review
Fat Possum Records
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The dynamic duo Tennis has returned with their newest album, Swimmer. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley met at CU Denver through a class they had together. The husband and wife formed the indie-pop band in 2010 and shortly after released their debut album in 2011. The duo is unique in a variety of ways; most of their music is inspired by and written during long excursions of sailing and what those experiences and reflections entail.
Swimmer features nine total tracks, all that seem to weave through varying emotions. All tracks feature strong instrumentals and vocals; both displayed through slower beats, which serve to echo meaning, and quick tracks that leaves listeners tapping along.
The album begins with the song “I’ll haunt you,” leading with gentle piano that flows melodically into Moore’s encompassing vocals, pulling the track down a spiral of attraction. The song itself is haunting, a sad sense of longing wrapped in silk. The song finishes off strong with yearnful lyrics echoing, “I will haunt you when I’m gone.”
The title track, “Swimmer,” consists of an electric guitar which tentatively leads into the melancholy tune, displaying a soft-paced tempo with sorrowful lyrics emulating, “Some summer you have planned for me.” The track, as discussed on the bands Twitter, was written about the day the pair scattered Riley’s dad’s ashes at the beach. The track closes the scene with (presumably) the ashes being, “Emptied into the sea,” as the lyrics tenderly finish.
“Tender as a Tomb” carries a tropical melody throughout and adds a stroke of quirky features to the album. The quicker rhythm to the track feels sunnier at first, like a hot summer day as Moore sings, “My footsteps over the concrete blistering in June.” Though the imagery is double-edged with a closer listening to lyrics,the song seems to be reaching out, desperate to keep a grasp on that lost love, no matter the cost, and certainly not very sunny.
The album resonates with listeners, featuring a diverse mix of tracks that break away from prior albums, but still hold reverberant in the unique sound of Tennis.