‘Swimmer‘ is the fifth album of American sophisticated indie pop husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, Tennis. I have been keeping track of their work since their first album ‘Cape Dory‘, and I could say that they are getting better and better.
With Tennis, I fall in love over and over; from ‘Yours Conditionally‘, and masterpieces like ‘10 Minutes 10 Years‘ and ‘Fields Of Blue‘ to ‘Swimmer‘ their effect is powerful on me.
‘Yours Conditionally‘ and ‘Swimmer‘, differ in style from the first three albums. ‘Cape Dory‘, ‘Young And Old‘, ‘Ritual In Repeat‘. Those were simpler, more indie pop /folk. On ‘Yours Conditionally‘ and especially on ‘Swimmer‘ , music forms are more complex, more lyrical and melodic.
The dulcet piano piece in the opening track ‘I’ll Haunt You‘, introduces you to a world of unmatched lyricism. Seductive drums start ‘Need Your Love‘, a mid-tempo, groovy and rhythmic song with a surprising switch to a slower tempo in the refrain. ‘How To Forgive‘ is mainstream pop mellowness that sets the mood for the first highlight of the album, ‘Runner‘; A harmonious marvel, a song driven by unbelievable melodic vocal curves and spins of Alaina Moore. The self-titled song is another highlight. A majestic, nostalgic masterpiece of indie/dream pop melancholy that crests at a redeeming refrain and becomes guitar-divine at 3:13’ — one of the most precious songs of 2020. Guitar chiming at ‘Late Night‘, which reminded me of ‘Fields Of Blue‘, is another great track, that you’ll listen to on endless repeat. ‘Matrimony II‘ is the ideal ending to the album. It floats into serenity; heavenly vocal harmonies at 2:40’ and a progressive/art rock closing.
No fillers here. ‘Swimmer‘ is the natural continuity after the group’s previous full-length, and it’s more solid, more mature and more melodic than its predecessors. An amazing bouquet of the finest dreamy songs, tuneful harmonies; one of the most melodic and lyrical albums I’ve heard in years.
Alaina, Patrick,…I’m totally frustrated. Αgain.