Album Review: Tennis - Cape Dory

on Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tennis - 'Cape Dory' (UK Release: 23 May '11) // Words: Rajan Lakhani

Reading the backstory of how 'Cape Dory' came about (husband and wife quit their day jobs, take an eight-month sail round the Atlantic Ocean, record music about it), you would predict an album of carefree and romantic songs. This isn’t far from the truth, as Tennis delivers a record which is truly heartwarming, evoking a bygone age of innocence.

The first introduction to the band was the single 'Marathon' which is among the stronger songs on the record. With its finger-clicking, 60s girl-group melody, it set music bloggers’ hearts racing and the album firmly sticks to this Phil Spector-esque sonic palette.

Indeed, you can easily place Tennis alongside Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls and The Vaccines. Some will criticise the lack of shade on the album, but for me this helps the record to capture more precisely the naivety of those early doo-wop songs.

'South Carolina' is another highlight as Alaina Moore coos "Make a family / In a quiet country / You and me in simplicity", perfectly illustrating the optimistic vibe of the record. Patrick Wiley’s woozy guitars gently propel the record, with the exception of 'Baltimore' that sees him cutting loose to an extent. However, even here, the chiming guitars are measured and careful not to overpower the intimate and fragile vocals of Moore.

At points, the album does verge on cloying but the naked abandon of the songs means it just about stays on the right side. 'Cape Dory' won’t change anyone’s lives but it’s a lovely, pop album which provides half an hour of escapist, blissful entertainment.


FREE DOWNLOAD: Tennis - Marathon

'Cape Dory' is available to purchase at your local retailer,, iTunes etc. Stream the album in full at The Guardian.

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