Tennis #5 - My Better Self / Petition

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Something I've touched on a couple of times whilst writing this blog is the seeming need for bloggers to continue posting 'fresh' music on their sites which can lead to bands that have 'been there done that' as far as blog coverage goes far too quickly. The drive to be first (don't get me started on the 'buzz blog') and the self-manifested hunger to 'discover' new acts means there have been plenty of instances where bands have their debut track (normally recorded in their bedroom on a crappy laptop) promptly lauded over and quickly shared by 100's of bloggers around the world. Mega-stardom awaits it seems, or does it?

Before you know it the same band has gone from the best thing since slice bread to being forgotten and dumped in an ever growing abyss along with last weeks news. Yes, a slight exaggeration but it's similar to what happens. Even before a band actually has the time to produce a decent album they're resigned to chip paper. I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps it's the Internet and high speed broadband which means I can basically have any song I want right now. Or the iTunes effect which means people dip in and out of bands willy nilly. I'm an album person, I've always been an album person and hopefully given the chance I always will be but I've friends who are not. They want the one song by an artist that was on that car advert and aren't interested in anything else they've got to offer. Why spend time looking for music, good music should come to you. Or should it? I don't know.

I'm a music geek, there's not much that gets me excited like spending hours listening to a slab of wax or a new b-side for the first time. I am though in a minority. Yet today is now (as I write this the clock turns over to midnight) Record Store Day, a day when all other geeky minorities come together and support their local record store, but will you talk to anyone in the shop, the same one you've been going to for years and forge lasting relationships? No. You'll keep anonymous under a pair of headphones whilst you scramble to find that Ziggy Stardust picture disc or the St Vincent 7" with two new tracks that you can't even pronounce (hands off, I want that one!) and then quickly share the pictures of your 'stash' with your 1000 twitter 'friends'. That is the world we live in. Would I change it? Probably not.

Not much of that will probably make much sense when I come to re-read it in the morning, that page of text wasn't planned. The plan was a little introduction to say that if you read blogs in the summer of 2010 a band you wouldn't have missed on any blog were Tennis. They were about (according to blogs) to be 'massive'. "Marathon" and "Baltimore" were the perfect soundtrack to your summer and Tennis were the band to blissfully fall in love too. Yet here we are in 2012 (before I come to the obvious but, I'll just say that this is not a criticism or a negative towards the band at all - I love them, I've covered them quite a few times here, on a fan-blog which is 'the music that I like'), after Tennis' second album has been released and I see the band have announced gigs where they'll be playing in front of (at most) 150 people in Oxford. That's not exactly what all that early praise would have you believe, don't get me wrong, it's the basis of a career but where are the arenas? Where are the armies of fans? Where are the blog fanfares now? (They've more than twelve thousand fans of facebook to be fair). They've all moved on. Tupac's hologram and Lana Del Rey, that's where it is at (if you didn't know).

It's a shame because Tennis have just announced a double a-side single which should very well be the soundtrack for a summer of young love. Two highlights from their second LP 'Young and Old', "My Better Self" / "Petition" will be released via ATP Recordings on May 28th on 7" / Digital Download (with the previous mentioned UK shows around the same time - full details). It's safe to say both tracks are utterly marvellous. "My Better Self" is the softer and more restrained of the two, the swoon-some vocals of Alaina Moore are heartfelt and irresistible while "Petition" is overwhelmingly charming, with its gorgeous, glittery melody and bouncy key strokes it's likely to melt your heart and provide a burst of sunshine to your hectic life. Yes, perhaps we were right after all, Tennis are a band to love and be excited about. Best of all, you still can, no re-union tour needed here.

P.S. Those wanted a nostalgia trip of old windows operating system should visit the band's website too. Phew. If you're still here, well done you!