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Thread: Tennis - Cape Dory

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Tennis - Cape Dory

    too tinny sounding
    Debbie Harry meets..........uh........some tinny band
    nothing reached a like

    Grade - 1.3

    released Jan 18th 2011

    from the album - Marathon - grade 1.5

    from all music


    Tennis are an indie pop duo comprised of husband and wife Patrick Riley (guitar, keyboards, production) and Alaina Moore (vocals, keyboards). They met while students in Colorado, and after graduating college they bought a sailboat and spent seven months sailing along the Eastern Seaboard. Post-adventure, they moved back to Colorado, and after getting settled began recording songs that had a modern, lo-fi feel but a sweet, '50s pop heart. The songs were inspired by their trip and the discussions they would have about music while on board their boat (the Swift Ranger). The duo’s first single, “South Carolina,” was released in summer of 2010 on Firetalk Records, to be quickly followed by their second single, “Baltimore,” for the Underwater Peoples label. The rest of the year was spent playing shows (including a Daytrotter session in September) and recording their first album. Cape Dory was released in January of 2011 by Fat Possum.

    Album Review

    Everyone loves a good “meet cute” story. Whole movies are built around them, in fact. The Colorado-based band Tennis have a good one. The duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore met in college, fell in love, got married, and (here’s the cute part) spent seven months in a sailboat traveling the Eastern Seaboard. When they got back home they began recording songs about their journey, the results of which are on their debut album, Cape Dory. The time spent on the boat seemingly resulted in a desire to recapture the timeless appeal of 1950s pop but then give it a modern, reverby update. The songs are built around chord progressions that sound lifted from old Ricky Nelson ballads, filled out with ballpark organ, and presided over by Moore’s voice. Some may find her a little affected-sounding, since she’s a crooner of a dramatic nature more than a transparently emotional singer. This little bit of distance works well with the music, giving it the feel of a slightly creepy, dusty exhibit in a roadside attraction that doesn’t get many visitors. It also has the feel of a faded photograph from a long-ago summer vacation, full of nostalgia and warmth. The conflict between these two quite different feelings makes the record a little hard to cozy up to at first, but after a listen or two it really begins to sink in. The familiarity of the chords, the hum of the old keyboards, the tender romance of the lyrics, and, most of all, the gentle strength of Moore’s voice start to feel timeless and new at once, and you’ll have a hard time keeping Cape Dory out of regular rotation. The best songs on the album are the songs that were previously released on singles (“Marathon,” “South Carolina,” and “Baltimore”), but the rest aren't far behind. The story behind Tennis and Cape Dory are nice; the music is better.

    Track Listing

    1 Take Me Somewhere
    2 Long Boat Pass
    3 Cape Dory
    4 Marathon
    5 Bimini Bay
    6 South Carolina
    7 Pigeon
    8 Seafarer
    9 Baltimore
    10 Waterbirds
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  2. #2


    just listened to several tracks, "South Carolina" and "Baltimore" are the best tracks, only problem is what i heard all sounds the same.
    very astute in the Debbie Harry comparrison MH

  3. #3


    The name of this album is real sporty.

  4. #4
    Roadie simonbrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom


    I really liked this album, i can't really think of anyone who sounds really like them...well in terms of the female vocals. I'm enjoying what im labelling as like doo-wop revival...its really soothing, they really have been influenced by late 50's early 60's love songs.

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