Rising out of Denver’s DIY scene into indie-pop acclaim, the husband-wife duo Tennis performs at the McDonald Theatre April 24.
The pair, composed of singer/keyboardist Alaina Moore and guitarist Patrick Riley, met in the philosophy department of the University of Denver in 2008 and got involved in the city’s local music scene.
The duo formed Tennis after living on a sailboat and traveling the Atlantic Ocean post-graduation — a story told through their first album, Cape Dory, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart.
Tennis’ style may be recognizable from hits such as “Need Your Love” and “Runner” off of the 2020 release Swimmer, named one of USA Today’s ten best albums of 2020, alongside Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers.
Now on its sixth album, Pollen, Tennis continues to charm the indie-pop scene. Tennis’ songs are mellow and dream-like — replicating that feeling of sailing in the middle of the ocean, miles from shore. The group’s retro inspiration is apparent from Moore’s classic ’80s perm and the muted color palettes of their visuals, but it can be heard through in their sound as well, blending mid-to-late century sounds with a contemporary pop feel.
“The more we try to broaden our scope, the more we turn inwards,” Moore says in a statement previewing the album’s release. In order to avoid falling into old habits, the duo challenged themselves to use new instruments and gear on Pollen. The name comes from, as Moore says, “small things with big consequences,” whether it’s a particle, a moment or a choice.
The show is Monday, April 24, at the McDonald Theatre with support from the band Loving. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased through the McDonald Theatre.