Cape Dory

Click to listen to Tennis' "Marathon" and "Take Me Somewhere"

Great backstory: Denver husband-and-wife team Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley sail around the East Coast for eight months, then write songs about their voyage. Jimmy Buffett this ain't: Think Neko Case's cover of the Shangri-Las' "Train From Kansas City," with Best Coast's fuzzed-out guitars. Moore's voice isn't huge, but she uses it well, morphing o's into "oh-whoa-ohs" like a siren in a frilly Fifties swimsuit, while Riley's guitar lines sparkle like sun-kissed breakers. "Pigeon" and "Marathon" are girl-group-style love songs knotted with nautical terms ("close hauling with my darling"). It's the coolest "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay ever.

Video: Tennis Perform "Pigeon," "Marathon" and "Bimini bay"

From The Archives Issue 1122: January 20, 2011
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