Tennis Review: Young & Old

22 Feb

Young & Old

Yesterday, Wes discussed the duo of indie rockers Sleigh Bells releasing their sophomore album, Reign of Terror. Well, last Tuesday (notable for being Valentine’s Day) another indie duo and a married couple, known as Tennis, also released their own sophomore effort, Young & Old. The lo-fi somewhat-surf-rockers did well last year, releasing their debut album Cape Dory on the notably awesome indie label Fat Possum Records. The album was subtle, but great, and received fairly positive reviews, but was still a bit underrated IMHO. Something tells me that this album on the whole will be received in a fairly similar fashion.

The biggest move the humble young couple made with their follow up, was acquiring the help of Patrick Carney of The Black Keys to produce the album. Although this didn’t provide an incredibly drastic difference, there are a few noticeable changes in the band’s sound and vibe. The fuzzy, lo-fi surf-rock sound is still there, but it picked up some organ keys, that at times sounds hauntingly old and creepy, and others sounds bright and poppy. Poppy is definitely a word I would also use to describe the overall vibe of Young & Old. The pop had always existed in Tennis, but it was darker and much more subtle, which made it harder to notice you bobbing your head up and down to the tune. Young & Old brightens up to the point that you’re entire body will be bouncing at times. Some tracks like “Petition” and “Robin” even remind me of soul sounds from the 70‘s.

^Like the title suggests, it’s a bit of the “Young Tennis” mixed with some of the “Old Tennis”

Overall, I think Patrick’s goal was to make this album a little bit more fun than the first. In terms of The Black Keys, it would be the equivalent of jumping from The Big Come Up to El Camino in one step. That is a bit over-exaggerated, but the point is that the intelligence and sincerity of the music is still all there, it is just a much more user friendly version of the same band. Also like El Camino, some people will love this result, and others will loathe it.

I for one, enjoy Young & Old a great deal. I think it shows an immediate, yet subtle versatility within the band. You may not notice it at first, but after you listen to the album, revisit Cape Dory, then go back to Young & Old, it will smack you in the face. I love my lo-fidelity as much as the next guy (as long as that guy isn’t Elliott Smith, he probably has me beat), but I also love my fun vibes and pop tunes. What I found especially interesting, is that the two bonus tracks (“Deep In the Woods” and “Vegas”) that were included with my version of the album, probably stray the furthest from any songs on Cape Dory, and are possibly more accessible than any tracks on Young & Old, yet somehow didn’t make the album. They are especially intriguing tunes and probably would have only boasted the album’s credibility. I wonder if that was their attempt to keep this album closer to Cape Dory’s pace, but also show fans what they can do. Maybe they were too nervous to stray too far from Cape Dory. Who knows, really?

For a surf-rock-esque band, I can’t help but make the analogy that you’d probably rather take Young & Old to the beach over Cape Dory. It has more of that bright and sunny side to soak up the sun and catch some waves too, whereas Cape Dory has more of the beach-side dive-bar sound. That being said, I can understand why you’d rather stay off the beach and and grab a cheap beer. Both sides make sense to me, but won’t to everyone.

Also, if you’re interested, please check out fellow music lover/blogger Cardinal Playlists’ interview with Tennis’ very own Alaina Moore HERE.


Can’t Miss: “Origins”, “Petition”, “Robin”, “Never to Part”

Can’t Hit: “Dreaming”, “Take Me to Heaven”

Note: Bonus tracks on albums are generally nothing to write home about, however, in this case, I’d advise to do so.

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31 Responses to “Tennis Review: Young & Old”

  1. I Made You A Mixtape February 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I am so into lo-fi nowadays… I somehow relate to its retro 70s feel… I like her voice- very crisp and clear. Love your blog btw!! Have subscribed to blog and twitter feed!

    • Austin February 22, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words and for subscribing!

  2. thistrailersucks February 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Congrats on making freshly pressed. Please follow my blog ThisTrailerSucks.Com , THANKS!

  3. gaycarboys February 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Never heard of her but I’ll itunes a song and see what I think. Thanks for the headsup.

  4. imaginedbywolves February 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Sounds like a great record, thanks for turning me on to them!

  5. Marco Esquandolas February 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Awesome review. I really dug the low-fi sound soaked in sunny reverb.

  6. lalarams February 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Already in love. Thanks for introducing me to Tennis.

  7. theriotsquad February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    The sound is great! *nostalgia

  8. Terence February 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Definitely enjoying Young & Old, picked it up last Friday and can’t stop listening to it. In my opinion, it feels right next to Cape Dory, as if it were the most logical step for them because Y&O keeps much of their original style but with vastly different lyrics and the addition of more pop-y sounds.

  9. Cardinal Playlists February 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    I just did an interview with Alaina Moore from Tennis!

    You can find it here:

    Nice review!

    • Todd February 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

      That is really cool that you were able to get an interview with her. How did that line up for you?

      Good article as well. Congrats! Thanks for reading.

      • Cardinal Playlists February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am #

        I just went for it and googled their contact information. I’ll link to your album review at the end of my post if you link to my interview at the end of yours.

    • Todd February 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Deal, your link has been added. Thank you!

  10. offthefrontporch February 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    thanks for the review – they’re coming to my town this week and I hadn’t heard much of them before. Excited to see them perform.

  11. simplybeautifuldarling February 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    Just discovered them tonight and then found this review! Can’t wait to hear more from them and from you!

  12. awordforthought February 23, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    It’s funny – my head was bobbing along with the music as I read your review! Gotta dig the bass line running through the song and the overall retro vibe.

    Really good fun, thanks for the introduction!

  13. richannkur February 23, 2012 at 3:56 am #


  14. DyingNote February 23, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    I have Cape Dory but I wasn’t aware of this new Tennis album till I came across your post. So, Thanks!

    Alaina Moore’s singing reminds me of the ’60s-style pop female singers like Lesley Gore. Nice. But while I agree – on first listen – this is a peppier album than Cape Dory, there’s an underlying sameness which will get bothersome if they stick to it in their next

  15. sweetopiagirl February 23, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss and commented:
    I enjoyed reading your information on tennis the young and the old! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

  16. breezyk February 23, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    love Tennis- and Origins is an amazing track. Also love “My Better Self”

  17. steph February 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Great review! I caught Tennis at Bumbershoot this summer and really liked their set but totally forgot to check out an album. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  18. paintboxtalks February 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on paintboxtalks and commented:
    Som Novo No Pedaço

  19. Hugh Marmalade February 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Had not previously heard of this group (which is hardly surprising, it’s not really my scene), but I enjoyed the song in the post, definitely very poppy, without being saccharine. Much of the review didn’t mean much to me, relying, as it did, on contextual knowledge I don’t possess, but it was nonetheless interesting reading.

  20. Eryka February 24, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    check out my blog :)

  21. Raaj Trambadia February 24, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Cheerz !! You are now famous :D And awesome post !!

    And please check out my latest post on love –

  22. rambastalan February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Definitely makes me want to check out more of this album, very enjoyable review to read. Really glad I stumbled upon your blog!

  23. joeynavarrete February 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Congrats on being on “Freshly Pressed”

    please check out:

    hopefully you’ll like the music in it.

  24. Little Miss Grumpy Pants March 7, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Reblogged this on sambaltempoyak.


  1. Interview with Alaina Moore of Tennis « Cardinal Playlists - February 25, 2012

    […] check out the awesome review of Young & Old my friend over at Little By Listen did by clicking HERE. Share this:Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this […]

  2. Best Coast Review: The Only Place « Little by Listen - May 15, 2012

    […] easiest reference to drop would have to be Tennis. It was a very similar situation in which you had a very low-fi debut album with a female lead, […]

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