After slowly dropping singles over the past year, Tennis are back with their fourth album ‘Yours Conditionally’. As before, much of the ideas and lyrics were written whilst on a sailing trip together, giving them a unique perspective and environment to write. While emotional difficulties and the risks of the sea loomed over them, the pair seem stronger and more optimistic musically than ever.
The husband and wife duo are masters of vintage style pop, particularly in the quaint form of songs celebrating love. It makes you nostalgic for old fashioned romance in the same way Lana Del Rey does for the idea of the American Dream. ‘Matrimony’ sees frontwoman Alaina Moore sing of the “sweet summer morning when you made me your wife”. Lyrics like “doesn’t matter if we’re rich or poor” seem to act as vows to “the world’s most interesting man” as she sings on ‘My Emotions Are Blinding’, another lovely pop song with a great guitar riff.
But it’s not all La La Land romanticism. ‘Ladies Don’t Play Guitar’ is a brilliantly expressed track about gender expectations and restrictions. “Ladies just need your love” she sings, “don’t you know we are all caught up in it.” The songs feel more diverse towards the latter half too. There’s the sweetly melancholy ‘10 Minutes 10 Years’ and the dreamy ’Island Music’; the perfect lo-fi, echoey closer to the album. The record most obviously seems to show off their growth in sound and maturity but without any loss in vitality. In a political and social climate focussed on conflict and division, the world needs a few more escapist love songs based on true stories and boat rides.