Released this Friday is the new album of husband and wife duo of Alaina and Patrick, otherwise known as Tennis, Yours Conditionally, on the band’s own label Mutually Detrimental. Building on their dreamy juxtaposition of perfect melodies and classic song-writing, the new album sees a full circle return to their nautical roots of sorts, with the duo even writing part of the album while sailing at sea.
The fourth album from husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, from Denver, Colorado, their first release since Ritual in Repeat in 2014. The producer of this album, Spoon’s Jim Eno, returns this time around, but only as a mixer; Yours Conditionally was self-produced by Tennis.
A treat of power-pop and synth-heavy ballads, Alaina refers to the album as “a grandiose gesture”, a necessary venture of revisiting the past to bolster the present. A tight, mature album, this piece of work looks down the uncertainty and confusion of the future without flinching. This is Tennis at their contrary, compelling best.
My Emotions Are Blinding peaks at the ambivalences of intimacy, mental framework and motivations. “It’s metaphorical for the categorical / I get hysterical / it’s empirical…”
Intimate and melodic, tracks like In the Morning I’ll be Better and 10 Minutes 10 Years, provide uncertain insight, whilst Baby Don’t Believe and Ladies Don’t Play Guitar provide a feisty, confident and power-pop sound that nods to the talent of some Eighties pop, such as that of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
Please Don’t Ruin This For Me has a cascading guitar riff aided by hand-claps and maracas, while Moore’s seduces you whilst also exposing vulnerability and doubt. An intimate invitation to her soul, the track sounds like Moore singing to herself. Her various personas are all trying to come to an understanding, especially with the more anxious and self-conscious of these personas.
Fields of Blue, delivering stunning lyrics in a love-ballad fashion fully immerses itself into the retro years of the Eighties as we are offered synth-pop with an East coast, surf-slide guitar. Overall, the pair dig deeper and darker with this new release, with the resultant album marrying discussions of identity and self-sacrifice to some of their most pristine and infectious hooks yet.
Yours Conditionally is out today on Tennis’ own label Mutually Detrimental.