Tennis is Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. The two met in the philosophy department at
the University of Colorado in 2008 after dropping out of their respective music
programs. In the years after graduating, they got involved in Denver’s DIY music scene.
Through house shows, they were connected with Underwater Peoples, and Firetalk.
Tennis’ first singles “South Carolina,” “Baltimore,” and “Marathon” were released in
2010. The band went blog-viral nearly overnight, landing them a record deal with Fat
Cape Dory, (2011 on Fat Possum), documents Moore and Riley’s time spent living
aboard a small sailboat on the Atlantic coast. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s
Heatseeker chart, transitioning Tennis from house-shows to stages such as
Tennis recorded their sophomore effort Young & Old (2012) with Patrick Carney of the
Black Keys. They made their television debut on The Tonight Show, The Late Show,
In 2014 they signed with Communion. The resulting release, Ritual in Repeat was the
culmination of separate recording sessions with Richard Swift, Jim Eno and Patrick
Carney. Moore and Riley were greatly influenced by Richard Swift’s approach to
recording and engineering, prompting Riley’s decision to take over as engineer on their
With shifting labels and new interests, Tennis chose an alternate path for their band and
career. In 2016, Moore and Riley formed the label Mutually Detrimental and began
self-releasing. Their newfound freedom allowed them to return to their sailboat to write
their next full-length, this time in the Sea of Cortez. Yours Conditionally, released in
2017, became their most commercially successful album–charting at #4 on Billboard’s
Independent list and in the top 100 highest selling vinyl releases that year. They played
Coachella and opened for artists like The National, Father John Misty and The
Shins–proving their DIY roots as a cornerstone to their sound and narrative.
Their follow up Swimmer (2020), was recorded in their home studio with Moore and
Riley producing and engineering. The pair brought their long-time touring member Steve
Voss in for the second time to drum on record. The singles, Need Your Love and
Runner, were Tennis’ most successful releases to date. With nearly every show on tour
sold-out (including two consecutive nights at Brooklyn Steel) the album’s campaign was
cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pollen, Tennis’ sixth studio album is due on February 10, 2023 (Mutually Detrimental)