Music Review: The summery sounds of Tennis

Some have called it a phenomenon; others claim they’re nothing more than a buzz band. In any case, the dramatic rise to the national scene by Denver-based Tennis is worth a second glance. Their story is classic (if not overly romantic): a young couple with no money took to the sea on a ship named Cape Dory. Over the course of their adventures they were married and inspired to share their stories in the form of a few songs.

The unpolished demos of those original songs quickly spread throughout the internet and soon everyone was talking about “sail-rock” and “the next big thing out of Denver.” For Denver locals it came as a bit of a surprise: not many people in Denver had ever seen Tennis live since it was really an overnight affair. Following a fall tour with The Walkmen and getting signed to Fat Possum Records, Tennis prepped for the release of Cape Dory- a collection of polished songs out earlier this month.

For those who were familiar with their demos and 7″-releases, Cape Dory came as no surprise. Most of the songs on the record had already been released in one form or another; however the versions appearing on the full-length were certainly different than previous renditions. While songs like “South Carolina” or “Baltimore” were delightfully fuzzy and loose on the demos, their LP-counterparts were more polished and tighter.

Cape Dory is an excellent set of summery songs about the sea; however it was the rawness of the original songs which attracted me to Tennis in the first place. For those interested in hearing what everyone has been talking about, Cape Dory provides an opportunity to hear all of Tennis’s ocean-inspired tunes in one place.

Recommended if you like: Beach Boys, Best Coast, The Walkmen

For an exclusive interview with Tennis, photos, videos, and downloads visit www.minesblog.com/music/tag/tennis

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