Living in a modern musical landscape bombarded with bass drops and reverberation, it is no wonder bands like Tennis have risen up within the last decade to combat the trend of oversaturation.
Minimalistic in sound, empowering in performance and nostalgic in every sense of the word, Denver-based husband and wife duo Tennis has made a name for itself incorporating classic elements of doo-wop in addition to modern elements of dream pop, lo-fi and surf pop.
In support of its 2017 releases “Yours Conditionally” and “We Can Die Happy,” the duo took the stage at Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday, Jan. 23, despite lead singer Alaina Moore’s self-proclaimed “near-death experience” at a Whole Foods just three days earlier.
“[It] is one of the most hipster ways to die,” Moore said.
Sporting simple beige bell-bottoms and a show-stopping jacket covered in reflective sequins, Moore and guitarist Patrick Riley strutted onstage to the rhythm of one of their latest singles, “No Exit.” The dance track sparked a groove within the audience, two-stepping and shuffling from the mezzanine to the barricade.
The audience continued to sway as Tennis transitioned into tracks, “Yours Conditionally,” “My Emotions are Blinding” and “Fields of Blue,” from its latest full-length album. Then, the room transitioned into collective song for the emotive ballad, “Modern Woman.”
Introducing contemplative and even confessional moments such as an ode to her anxiety on “I Miss That Feeling” and the dismantling of a misogynistic Bono quote before “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” Moore maintained an intimate dialogue with the audience throughout the entire show.
“Thank you for making this literally the biggest show we have ever played,” Moore said to the crowd. “We never thought this would happen.”
However, the most intimate moments came during the band’s anticipated encore as Moore decided, due to the strain on her voice caused by the flu, to perform “Bad Girls” acoustically. As the backing musicians exited, Moore took a seat on the edge of the stage, singing melodically to starstruck audience members only inches away from the singer.
Whether you enjoy nostalgic instrumentals of decades past or simply a minimal, alternative sound, look absolutely no further than Tennis. The duo’s straightforward yet enchanting vibrancy and frank lyricism lends itself to a new generation of listeners seeking pop music in its most gorgeous form.
“Brooklyn, you are beautiful,” Moore said.
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