Tennis has always been a bit of an enigma, a band grounded in a marriage that has miraculously lasted through multiple albums. Breakups and divorces are frequent in the industry, though Patrick Riley (guitar, keyboard) and Moore have proven to be an exception to the rule. Their love created their first album, and with one listen to Yours Conditionally, it is clear that their devotion hasn’t waned any from when they created adorable tracks like Cape Dory’s “Marathon” and “Take Me Somewhere.” On their latest, the songs feel more mellow and relaxed, creating a collective “ahhh” moment, akin to feeling the sand between your toes.
Since their 2011 debut Cape Dory, the group has been brewing up breezy seaside tracks from a landscape seemingly somewhere between the Florida Keys and an Atlantic seaside town. Their sophomore effort Young & Old showcased singer Alaina Moore’s ability to convincingly replicate a delicate ’60s pop sound. On Yours Conditionally, the band’s lo-fi-meets-doo-wop sound hits a critical mass with the duo’s affection to back it up, reflected in a band-curated Spotify playlist containing their influences for the album, such as Hall & Oates, The Feelies and ABBA. Their roots may be lo-fi, but clearly they’re so much more than that
Yours displays new heights for Moore’s vocal abilities. She still holds her same cooing and dreamy tone, but on tracks like “Modern Woman,” she sings from a deeper place of knowing and experience. Her melodies soar and shine, especially on standout “My Emotions Are Blinding.” Each track feels refreshing, like Riley and Moore are handing us a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice (from oranges grown in their own orchard, of course.) In the music video for “In The Morning I’ll Be Better,” directed by Luca Venter, we get another sense of the vibe the duo aims for. Shimmery camera filters and a stunning gown worn by Moore paint the scene, one that almost mocks model poses of the 1960s, in a tongue-in-cheek way. When we are reminded that this album was also inspired by a long sailing trip (just like Cape Dory’s backstory), this winking escapism is given a new, carefree context.
Riley and Moore hold their listeners close. Their techniques are equally cute and innovative—like this undeniably sweet infomercial starring Girls’ Zosia Mamet, doing her best Vanna White (and be sure to call the number in the video, it’s worth it). Yours Conditionally is where Tennis truly hones in on their niche of silky ’60s and ’70s-influenced pop.