Tennis serves an ace of an album with ‘Ritual in Repeat’

by Sarah Tanori, Staff Writer

Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley are Tennis. The duo released their third record “Ritual In Repeat” on Sep. 9 through Communion Music.

SONY DSCLooking at Tennis, one might think “Sonny and Cher 2014?” Their style choices in music and image beam 1960’s power couple. That’s an initial thought, at least. Tennis is a two piece composed of husband and wife with Alaina on vocals/keyboards and Patrick on guitar. The pair was inspired to begin writing music after an epic sailing trip along the Eastern Seaboard, hence, their first album “Cape Dory”. The album’s lyrics were all diary entries written by Alaina during their adventures, the album is one big oceanic low-fi narrative.

However, do not let their marriage distract you from their dynamic as a musical duo. Tennis is not an amalgamation of musical love. The pair is not keen on making their relationship a focus of their music whatsoever, as it might not only hinder the marriage but also contextualize the music in a manner they both do not want perceived. They are writing partners and musical companions, nothing less, nothing more.

So really, if you’re wondering, they are very different from Sonny and Cher.

According to Patrick Riley, the process in creating their latest was “painstaking, long, and microscopic.” “Ritual in Repeat” wasn’t like any record they had created before. It was intricate and very thought out. Although their first albums “Cape Dory” and “Young and Old” were not identical, they shared similar sound, while “Ritual in Repeat” is a slow burner roaring with maturity and complexity.

The band did not believe their successes would get as far as to create three albums. Riley says they are honored and flattered that the band has kept going for this amount of time, as both him and Alaina were under the assumption their musical project would dissolve quickly.

Riley believes the music industry is going to collapse. With new music streaming technologies and bands like U2 releasing albums for free, he thinks bands are gaining weird expectations for what they should do next with their music and doesn’t quite know where Tennis is going next either. Riley states it’s hard to tell, but that music will take a shift away from larger labels and will gear towards more traditional forms of creating and distributing music.

Tennis doesn’t know the future of music, but they continue to challenge their own sound and that’s the root of their appeal. A lot of artists today choose to stay in their lane, for lack of a better phrase. Many musicians stay safe safe in that they develop one style and stick with it for the fact that  it’s capitalizing. “Ritual in Repeat” graces indie nerds and newcomers alike with a sound crossing from indie doo-wop and classic pop, staying to the dream-pop aesthetic while emerging into a distinguishable indie style that is all their own.