Tennis Set Sail Again, Defy All Odds, and Test the Limit to Their Love

A short while ago, if you’d asked Alaina Moore, one half of husband-and-wife indie pop duo Tennis, if they’d make another record, she might have said no.
“[Before this album] we took a year off,” Moore explains over breakfast near New York’s Columbus Circle, where we’ve convened to talk about the band’s fourth album, Yours Conditionally. “We didn’t even know if we would make another record. We would just go back to our old jobs. Well, not me. Before we started our band, I worked at American Apparel, which is now out of business,” Alaina laughs, shaking her strawberry blonde curls, motioning to her bandmate and husband, Patrick Riley, across the table. “I had a triumphant moment recently where I told Pat, if you’d asked me seven years ago, what do you think is going to be around today, American Apparel or Tennis? I would have chosen American Apparel—and I think everyone would have agreed with that statement. That’s the definition of a buzz band. You’re here for a hot minute, and then everyone forgets about it. So we’re defying the odds.”

Moore’s right, when Tennis first appeared on the scene, they were the definition of a buzz band, bolstered in part by their almost impossibly charming origin story: back in 2008, Moore and Riley met in philosophy class at the University of Colorado in Denver, they fell in love, married in 2009, and, after graduation, embarked on a year-long sailing trip together. They wrote music inspired by their trip as a casual stress-relieving activity, and released the collection, called Cape Dory, in 2011. Their sparkling, intelligent retro-pop earned them rave reviews and suddenly, they were a thing.

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