Artist

Tennis

Tennis

Every buzzband has a hook, and Tennis has got its story down. Patrick Riley (guitars) and Alaina Moore (keyboards) spent four years experimenting in self-abnegation--no cable, no cellphones, no rock shows--in order to save up enough money to buy a sailboat. It had been a lifelong dream of Riley's to explore the seas, and when the couple finally had saved up enough money to buy the sailboat, they embarked on what was supposed to be a two year trip along the Atlantic coastline.

 

Both had played music in the insular Denver scene (Riley most notably in Tigers), but never together, and neither was aware of the others' unique talents. Sitting in a bar in Marathon, Florida (later the title of their first blog hit), the couple had an epiphany. The bartender had played The Shirelle's "Baby It's You," and the two began to form an aesthetic around it: they wanted a Farfisa organ, a 1950s telecaster, low-grade tape.

 

When their trip was cut short eight months in, the two had the chance to bring their vision to life. Back in Denver, Co. they began composing sweet, fuzzy odes to the various locales that had been their homes over the past few months--"Marathon," "Baltimore," "South Carolina." The songs were really only meant for their ears, as a way to keep their journey alive. They called their project Tennis, after a joke Moore had made to Riley in college (where they met) about it being the "elitist rich man's sport" (he played).

 

This all happened in 2010, a time when nothing personal stayed personal for long. And so, after the songs they posted online got positive notices in outlets like Gorilla Vs. Bear and Pitchfork, Tennis became yet another band plucked from obscurity to become the Next Big Thing. Their increasing popularity throughout 2010 led to high profile shows with acts like The Walkmen and, in October 2010, the news that they'd been signed to Fat Possum. Fat Possum released their debut LP, Cape Dory, on January 18, 2011.


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