Husband-and-wife duo Tennis (Aliana Moore and Patrick Riley) is as excited as ever to return to familiar soil to share their new album live with some recognizable faces.
Their new and third album, Ritual in Repeat, is reminiscent of 1980s girl-pop: hints of Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Pat Benatar can be heard in Moore's voice. The album features production notes from Richard Swift, Jim Eno (Spoon), and Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), the latter two drummers. Adding James Barone on drums bumped up the album from past Tennis works.
Moore took some time to answer some questions from Up On the Sun.
Up on the Sun: Your second album, Cape Dory, is inspired by your adventures at sea. What sparked the idea to set sail across the Atlantic?
It's funny talking about Cape Dory now that we've moved to our third album. I associated that record with the earliest relationship part of our relationship, both with the band and with Riley. Everyone was going to grad school after graduation, but not Patrick. He was planning onto moving onto a sailboat.
We were not able to listen to music because of no electricity. It wasn't until we were living without it, living in silence, which made us appreciate it a lot. One night we were listening to "Baby, It's You" by The Shirelles at a Tiki Bar and thought it was so beautiful. I told Riley, "When we get home, we're making music." I don't think I would have had enough confidence or ambition to write an album without these circumstances.
Describe your experience working with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys fame.
Dan Auerbach and Riley have a great relationship, and both have really affected the way we arrange and record our songs. Patrick Carney has definitely impacted the way I write songs. I would bring him a demo and he would highlight the ghost parts and we ended up listening to it in a whole new way. We were looking at a song under a microscope: it's very revealing but we were investigating our own song and looking at its beauty
What are some of the benefits and challenges with working with your husband?
The best part is we live together, so we can work on stuff at any moment, but it's also the worst. We don't clock out, we sit around at home and our instruments are sitting their staring at us. It's hard to mentally turn off now that we do this seriously. It's also difficult having a normal conversation without band talk involved.
Are you looking forward to returning to Crescent Ballroom?
Riley's family lives in Arizona, so our Arizona shows normally consist of about twenty family members wearing our T-shirts. It always ends up turning into some cool family event and doesn't really feel like a show. Riley's grandma always goes around to the audience members asking if they enjoyed the show. She's one of our biggest fans. Maybe, if you're lucky, you can grab a drink with her, too!
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