Husband-wife indie-pop duo Tennis have announced their sixth album, Pollen, coming Feb. 10, 2023, via the band’s own Mutually Detrimental label. “One Night with the Valet,” produced and recorded by Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore in their home studio in Denver, Colorado, is our first preview of their follow-up to 2020’s Swimmer.
“One Night with the Valet” is as fleeting as its title suggests, flashing past in under two minutes. Over mid-tempo percussion, throbbing bass and interconnected keys, Moore sings about staring down a desire far bigger than herself: “Finding myself tempted by the face of love / Really fear that I could never get enough.” Her voice is as ethereal as the images she conjures (“We’re riding high up watching over silent things / Like pearls scattered at our feet”), and before you know it, both have disappeared.
“We wanted to write a big album,” Moore explains of Pollen in a statement, continuing:
… something suited for radio, but our songs don’t follow conventional pop structures. Instead of choruses with universal themes, I write with a specificity that is new to me, narrowing in on the smallest details of our lives. The more we try to broaden our scope, the more we turn inward.
To keep ourselves from falling into old habits, we used instruments and gear that are new to us. We work alone and Patrick engineers. The sounds he creates are as foundational as any part he writes. We resist the urge to over edit or do too many takes. Unlike previous albums which have been more wall of sound, we make a point not to overpower my voice with a dense mix.
We named the album Pollen. It is about small things with big consequences: a particle, a moment, a choice. It is me in a fragile state; sometimes inhabited freely, sometimes reacted against. It is striving to remain in a moment without slipping into dread. It is about the way I can be undone by a very small thing.
“A North American tour surrounding the arrival of Pollen will be announced soon,” per a press release.
Check out “One Night with the Valet” and a 2012 Tennis performance from the Paste archives below, and find the details of Pollen further down.
01. Forbidden Doors
03. Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight
04. One Night with the Valet
05. Pollen Song
06. Hotel Valet
09. Never Been Wrong
10. Pillow for a Cloud