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Advance Review - Tennis: 'Swimmer'

(Photo Credit - Luca Venter)

Advance Review - Tennis: Swimmer (February 14, 2020) 

Hall & Oats, Sonny & Cher, Ike & Tina Turner, Daft Punk; in a list of many, these are some of the greatest music duos of all time. Husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis are a personal addition to this list as they continue to celebrate and progress the Pop genre and the “Wall of Sound” technique. The fact that their new album, Swimmer, drops this Friday on Valentine’s Day is romantic and groovy in its own right.

After almost a three-year hiatus, on November 8th of 2019, Moore and Riley announced their fifth studio album with the release of the single “Runner”. While based out Denver and having a studio there with many hours of recording, the couple have their sea legs about them as they split their time sailing all over the world. The Duo’s 2011 and 2017 album releases, Cape Dory and Yours Conditionally were written while on the water. “Runner” first came to fruition on the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Mexico.

 On the writing process for “Runner”, Moore released this statement from the press release announcing the album:

“Runner” is the first song we wrote for our fifth record. It began as a guitar riff Patrick recorded while we were living off grid, anchored in a fisherman’s cove called San Juanico. The only instruments we had on board were an acoustic guitar and a drum sequencer, but the limitations seemed to work in our favor. Until that point we had no clear vision for our writing. The demo Patrick recorded that day outlined our future, the first contours of our next record.

Swimmer is also precursored by the single “Need Your Love”, with long time video collaborator Luca Ventor. Moore expressed that this song was about moving on from broken relationships and the changing in tempo along with scanty instrumentation reflects on her scattered  mental state. Regardless, she achieves “eighth wonder of the world” status as her shoulders sway in her green corduroy jumpsuit. As we find her among the foliage of the outdoor scenery in the fast zooms and slow dissolves reckoned from 80’s cinema, we are left dazzled.

A newly found Tennis fan myself, going through their discography I can see the sophistication they continually drive into their sound. I enjoy artists that take the time in between works to fully develop ideas. The thoughtfulness put into this album has me playing it on repeat. 5/5 for me.

Over at Vinyl Me, Please, there is a pre-order available for a limited pressing on 180 gram bone colored vinyl, limited to 500. The first wide release pressing will be on translucent blue vinyl. Tennis’s 2017 release, Yours Conditionally, was number 2 on “The Vinyl Album” release charts that year. I anticipate the same success for Swimmer.

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