Tennis return with the video for their latest single release ‘In the morning I’ll be better’, set to appear on their fourth full-length EP, ‘Yours Conditionally’, due out 10/3. Hailing from America’s Denver, Colorado, the husband-and-wife duo - comprised of instrumentalist Patrick Riley and singer Alaina Moore - are best known for their narrative lyrics, which explore relationship dynamics set against the recurring backdrop of idyllic oceanic settings and their musical affinity for things retro, as can be heard on their previous three full-length releases. Since 2011 the duo has evolved from exploring lo-fi indie pop and varying degrees of 70s fuzz infused pop, all the while maintaining the lilting tunefulness and delicate pop sensibility that has assured consistent adoration from their fan base.
‘In the morning I’ll be better’ is an endearing throwback to late 60s and early 70s pop, à la The Ronettes, Carole King and The Bee Gees. Singer Alaina Moore hits hearts hard with an impassioned vocal delivery, while multi-instrumentalist Patrick Riley imbues the subdued mood of the song with a soul influenced drumbeat, which coupled with a simple yet stern bassline invokes the booming sound of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. As the song evolves Moore’s understated vocal work transforms into a sublime outro of richly layered harmonisations, inferring a sublime spiritual exaltation akin to the gospel style that the duo also pastiches.
The film clip is an unapologetic throwback to the retro clips of ABBA and The Bee Gees. Creative director Luca Venter adopts the grainy and paired-back aesthetic as a means of capitalising on the songs intimacy. As Moore gazes unblinking into the camera singing, “I’ll write your cares away, that I might spare your pain…”, it’s hard to not feel acquainted with the truth of her tender devotion towards her beloved. The chorus lifts into a soulful call and response and is quite a hooky channelling of something from Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’.
Ultimately, ‘In the morning I’ll be better’ is a serious look at the difficulty of watching a loved one suffer without much resource to alleviate their troubles. Its strength lies in the meshing of both retro and modern styles, and its earnest delivery of genuine relationship-founded sentiment. Tennis seem to be steadily maturing their song-writing and expanding their stylistic sensibility with each full-length release, and ‘Yours Conditionally’ – due out on 10/3 – seems that it will go down as another leap towards incorporating new colours into the duos musical palate… it is, in other words, a sweet serve.