Tennis, the husband-and-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, have been making music together for over a decade. Their 2023 release, Pollen, is a stunning example of their ability to craft nostalgic and romantic indie-pop that transports listeners to a simpler time.
Here’s my review of the album on YouTube:
You can find the Pollen vinyl (on pollen colored wax nonetheless) on Amazon for an amazingly decent price while supplies last. It’s the same pressing I featured in my video above and pictured below..
The album opens with “Forbidden Doors,” a song that explores the complexities of desire and the temptation to explore the unknown. The song’s driving beat and catchy chorus make it an instant classic, and Moore’s vocals soar as she sings, “We don’t have to go too far, just far enough to say we did.” It’s a seemingly timeless track that showcases Moore’s ethereal vocals and Riley’s lush guitar work. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is filled with shimmering melodies and wistful lyrics.
Another favorite is “Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight,” a rollicking track that encourages listeners to let go of their inhibitions and embrace the unknown. The song’s catchy chorus and playful lyrics make it a welcome addition to an album that explores the complexities of love, desire, and the human experience.
Pollen has already received widespread critical acclaim, with publications like Pitchfork praising the album’s “lush, expansive sound” and “cinematic quality.” NPR called the album “a perfect marriage of sound and vision,” and Consequence of Sound praised the duo’s ability to “create a dreamlike atmosphere that’s impossible to resist.”
Overall, Pollen is a stunning addition to Tennis’s discography, showcasing the duo’s ability to continually churn out creative, captivating, and nostalgia-inducing indie-pop that’s both intimate and universal. It’s an album that will transport listeners to another time and place, and leave them yearning for more.
Pollen finds Tennis continuing to mature with a depth that’s really only possible after years of honing one’s sound. While their previous albums have been celebrated for their catchy hooks and retro-inspired sound including their previous LP Swimmer from 2020, Pollen takes their sound to new heights.