Published Dec 09, 2010Hot on the heals of surf poppers like Best Coast and the Drums, Denver duo Tennis brought their ocean-loving sounds to a surprisingly sold-out Drake Hotel. With no "proper" releases, no previous tours and no notable track record, the band seem to have come out of nowhere. Evidently, though, they came from the sea. No wonder the frosty weeknight gig boasted such hype.
Led by newlyweds Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, the band -- expanded to a three-piece live -- have only been playing music together for about a year, and all of their recent buzz comes from a handful of Internet-approved little tunes about a honeymoon sailing trip. Yep, aw, shucks.
So, armed with just their pleasant sailing-trip songs -- none of which surpassed the two-minute mark -- Tennis breezed through their set in about 25 minutes. The crowd didn't seem to mind, even when solicited to help a cold-afflicted Moore hit the high notes.
Between songs, the tandem bantered playfully with Riley, carefully navigating his newly granted mic privileges and Moore vocally disapproving. The affectionate back-and-forth was probably aimed at compensating for the show's shortness and mostly succeeded.
Musically amiable, Tennis have hitched their sailboat to the trend du jour (i.e., water-inspired pop), with plenty of nautical references sweetened by a lot of "ooh la las." Sure, the new surf sound has already been done to death -- and by a handful of better songwriters -- though Tennis's cutesy lyrics and obvious sounds have twee-ish potential and may just need some time to mature. Imagine what they could do if they went on a safari?