Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley are married and they did something crazy with the little money they had not so long ago. They pooled it together and decided to buy a sailboat in Florida and sail around the Eastern seaboard for seven months, until they no longer had any more money and they returned to Colorado. Can't even imagine how quickly my wife would nip that idea in the bud and it's harder still to imagine what made the two think that they knew how to sail a boat, or that the money could stretch for a full seven months before finally running dry. Either way you examine this little story, it carries with it an almost unbearably beautiful romantic quality of sun, surf, closeness and as much marine-blue-green water as the eye can see. It's the way Moore and Riley are toward each other too, it seems with a very quick glance, and the songs that they are collecting for a debut full-length are memorably breezy and cool. They give off a sensation that makes you feel as if you may have been an unwitting stowaway on that tiny sailboat of theirs, without a care in the world. Tennis, the name of the-now-trio's musical offerings, is a band that lives in a world of escapism, of doing exactly what these two lovebirds did - just cut ties and see what they could see, experience what it might be like to just float all day without much direction or agenda, to just be gone, but still be together. The song "Marathon" got out into the world this spring and immediately caught fire, shining with anthemic good vibrations and the kinds of ooos and ahhhs of harmony that produce involuntary smiling in nearly everyone who hears them. It's a song so pleasing that descriptions do it less good than descriptions usually do pieces of music. But everything else that Tennis has written backs up the sentiments and the aesthetic of that song - all of them making you want to just clean house and start over, as it sounds so refreshing to begin anew and be where Moore and Riley are, doing what they're doing. Tennis makes you want to reach out for your baby, bring them tight into your arms and just riddle them with kisses and snuggles. It's not that the music is all that cute or sentimental, it's just that you get so smitten and you find that there's some completeness that you're seeking and maybe you already have that, maybe you need to stop looking so hard. That man or that woman that's holding your hand and rubbing your shoulders at the end of a day of toil and frustration, might be the only thing that you ever need next to you, to make you feel so fulfilled. They create this feeling over and over again, setting the scene for an intoxicating sunrise and all that might follow should the moment be taken in with the right people or person. Moore and Riley make us suckers for the easy life, for thinking that it might be ripe for the pickin.' They toss us the lines and make us feel alive with the electricity of deep, set-in love, the kind that some think you can only get to after decades and decades, but right here, they've done it. They've written songs that feel like the tender care that you use when tucking a blanket over a loved one who's fallen asleep on the couch, late at night, with the television on. You look at that person, slumbering peacefully, and you believe with great conviction, that everything is wonderful.