If Tennis’ debut album, Cape Dory, was a narrative of a specific time and sensation, the Denver group’s follow-up, Young and Old, is its antithesis. The new disc, recorded in Nashville with Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, embraces a grander landscape of ideas and feelings, revealing a riskier, looser version of the band.
Cape Dory, released in January of 2011, chronicled a sailing voyage embarked upon by band members and married couple Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, who met while in college in Denver, and was never intended to be shared. Young and Old, in some ways a reaction to its predecessor, represents the first time Riley and Moore have penned tracks that are meant for those outside themselves. “We wrote Cape Doryalmost by accident and after playing those 10 songs over and over for ten months we knew exactly what we wanted to be playing onstage each night,” Moore says. “We were compelled right away to write this new record and it came very quickly. This is the first time we wrote songs for the sake of sharing them and performing them for other people.”
Many of the tracks that appear on Young and Old were written while the band, which also includes drummer James Barone, toured on their debut. Parts were imagined during soundchecks in venues across the country and great thought was put into how the new numbers would translate onstage. Riley and Moore solidified the tracks in May and, along with Barone, spent nine days recording with Carney in August at Haptown Studio—the first time any of the band members had worked with an actual producer.