Young and Old
Denver band Tennis – whose principle members Alaina Moore (vocals/keyboards) and Patrick Riley (guitar/bass) met as philosophy majors at the University of Colorado – first emerged with Cape Dory early last year.
The acclaimed, NPR-approved debut album was a charming, lo-fi bedroom recording loosely based on their long personal sailing journey across the eastern seaboard. It evoked 1960s girl groups and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, while sharing a vintage music aesthetic with modern acts like She & Him, Cults and Best Coast.
Highly engaging sophomore effort Young and Old finds the married couple and drummer James Barone following a similar path. Co-producers Pat Carney of The Black Keys and Roger Mountenot (They Might Be Giants, Yo La Tengo) help the group attain more sonic clarity.
All ten carefree tracks fall within the three-minute mark, never wearing out their welcome. On “Origins,” Moore sings sweetly about doomed love to prominent pop keyboards and Riley’s reverb-drenched washes of electric guitar.
Sunny organ, jangly guitars and heavenly vocals in “Traveling” are tailor-made for bopping around, while “Petition” could’ve fit on an early Amy Winehouse album. Other highlights include “Robin” - a sprightly ode to a feathered friend, the appropriately-titled “Dreaming” and haunting, organ-dominant “Never to Part,” where Moore wraps her delicate pipes around a lyric concerning a virgin girl about to be hitched.
– George A. Paul