Tennis, the gorgeous sounding low-fi indie couple, starring Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, are gearing up for their new album Swimmer to be released on February 14. The husband wife team have thrown it back to the 70s with both their style and music. “I listen to music from all eras and all genres, but we are really drawn toward the production techniques of the 60s and 70s. We are specifically not trying to make a 70s record, but I tend to place Carole King’s songwriting on a pedestal—she’s one of my greatest influences as a writer and that permanently works its way into my writing anyways,” says singer Alaina Moore about Tennis’s sound.
The duo’s sound is stripped down and they recorded everything without a producer for the new album. “It ends up being less fuss. We end up adding more then deleting it and go back to how it was before we added a bunch of stuff.”
Ladygunn’s Robert Frezza sat down with lead singer Moore to talk about the duo’s challenges in making their new album, Swimmer, their possible crossover into the mainstream, and the band’s fashion statement.
How has your love of music made your marriage and bond stronger especially with this next project, Swimmer?
We just passed the two year anniversary of Patrick’s father’s death. We spent the immediate aftermath within the first year writing Swimmer. Our relationship is foundational to music for me. I don’t think I’d make music at all if I didn’t make music with him. I’m more interested in our creative partnership. If I didn’t write music with him, I’d be doing something else. I think it all comes across in the writing. It’s a natural spillover of why I even make music.
So do you think the wounds have healed through the help of making this new music?
I felt like we have done a lot healing when we first started writing this new album. I usually like to let the dust settle first. If I’m writing about a particular period of time, or something as specific as the loss of Patrick’s father, I feel like I’m doing a lot of archival work, where I’m working to preserve a memory or history instead of getting straight catharsis out of the song. When I’m in the thick of the emotions, I can’t even write.
Your single “Need Your Love” is gaining much airplay on the alternative rock stations. What are your thoughts on crossing over to mainstream at this point in your career?
We lived outside the industry here in Denver. I have very mixed feelings. All the radio stations could stop playing the song tomorrow. I try not to follow these things to closely. If we did have a song like “Need Your Love” connected to a mainstream audience that would be great, but our audience is myself and Patrick. I’d be blown away if it connected to the mainstream, but I really wrote it for Patrick and myself.
Your tour begins on February 25. What are the negatives and positives about touring?
It’s a very strange experience to watch somebody watch you while on stage. Touring definitely influenced us. We can tour our record for a year and a half and then when we go home, we usually notice which song didn’t work live. It feels good when we wrote it, but when we brought it out into the world, it fell flat in front of a live audience. It has really been helpful as development as songwriters.
The negatives is that it’s extremely draining, taxing, hard on your relationships and your body. If you are just scrapping around on the road trying to make a buck, then it comes up as an expense of physical or emotional well being.
What is your fashion sense?
We definitely stray away from costumes. I never buy anything vintage clothing, which maybe I should. I was just exposed to a term called period face, which is a term that actors that could play old time roles. I thought that was a silly term, but that is a good way to describe myself. When I wear anything ultra modern, I look completely ridiculous. I wear what anything works for me, and it looks like the 70s.
CONNECT WITH TENNIS
photos / Luca Venter & Annie Dressner
story / Robert Frezza