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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Tennis EP 'We Can Die Happy' marks a departure from duo's earlier sound

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"We Can Die Happy" is the most recent EP from husband and wife duo Tennis.

Just eight months after the release of their fourth album "Yours Conditionally," husband and wife duo Tennis are back at it with their most recent EP, "We Can Die Happy." Featuring catchy riffs, profound lyrics and Alaina Moore’s ethereal vocals, the group’s five track release is an impressive creation, and it highlights the duo’s growth since their earlier albums.

While maintaining the band's signature sound of indie-pop meets 1950s nostalgia, "We Can Die Happy" features a slightly more modern tone. The first track of the EP, “No Exit,” is a pop-y, dance-worthy song that encompasses both plucky bass and synthetic overtones, giving the piece an '80s feel. "No Exit," with lyrics “We go down down to the deep void / Right back into place, I can breathe again” and “We could die tonight / Oh my god I feel like I’m dying,” is a juxtaposition of dark and light, a dance song for the morose.

The album takes a 180 degree turn with second track “Born to Be Needed.” Easily the most tonally similar to Tennis’ previous works, the song embraces its vintage qualities with airy vocals and Patrick Riley’s twangy guitar riffs. Lyrically, the track is about embracing independence and acting without regrets. “It's a lonely road to autonomy / But I would do it, do it, do it again,” Moore sings. “Born to Be Needed” is an inspiring piece, with a certain lightness that evokes images of hazy summer days and long winding drives.

“I Miss That Feeling” resides within a category of its own. With a deceptively gentle tone, the track delves into far darker topics than any of the other tracks. Lines like “Every little need dismantling / Recorded by the needle of an EKG” and “When I feel that ragged edge descend / My heart splits open like a vent" depict a consciously beautiful portrait of anxiety and panic.

A powerful and personal track, “I Miss That Feeling” portrays a very real issue for many, including Alaina Moore, who describes the song as a “love letter to [her] anxiety.”

The EP concludes with two contrasting tunes, “Diamond Rings” and “Building God.” With a distinct '80s influence, “Diamond Rings” is a hopeful plea for love. In contrast, “Building God” is a much more desperate piece featuring some of the more profound lyrics of the entire album. “We’re only building God / Until we have the one that we want,” the song goes, "'I can change, I can change, I can change / Let me be what you need, it’s okay.'” Overall, it’s a thought-provoking finale to a versatile and masterful album.

Tennis has released four studio albums since their formation in 2010, and "We Can Die Happy" marks only their second release since breaking off from former label Communion to form their own, Mutually Detrimental. A change from the duo’s signature vibes, the album features some of Tennis’ greatest accomplishments, both musically and lyrically. Tennis fans can only wait and see what the group comes up with next, as they continue their upward trend toward musical stardom.

Summary A change from the duo’s signature vibes, 'We Can Die Happy' features some of Tennis’ greatest accomplishments, both in music and lyrics.
4.5 Stars