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Pollen – Tennis review: An honest glance at a relationship that everyone can be a subject of

The reminisces on an early spring afternoon when the wind is blowing calmly, and the signs of the previous cold are hardly reading. The imagery of the sparrows on a birch tree with newly opened leaves and knowing the days will only be brighter than yesterday from now on. It would make one’s heart immediately warm and wraps the coziness around it. When the time has come, hope will be present eventually, at its capacity. Released on the 10th of February, the Denver-based duo Tennis’ latest studio album Pollen reaches this feeling as soon as it begins and embraces the change of seasons.

Tennis (Credit: Luca Venter)
Credit: Luca Venter

The musical practice Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley execute tends to put once again 1950s melancholic pop tunes and 1970s soft rock riffs together in an ambivalent tone, which is intentional and quite smooth. Ten-tracked Pollen is fuelled with synths and steadily relies on psychedelic instrumentalism, which brings out the most vibey record possible. The heart-melting, luminescent lyrics, on the other hand, pave the way for this emotional transaction full of honesty. Recorded and produced in the studio at home, Pollen structures an intimate atmosphere where Moore and Riley take a position of both a guide and a mirror.

It is impossible not to relate to and amaze by the enveloping power of Tennis’ music and the descriptive scenery the duo covers wholeheartedly. 

The opening song, Forbidden Doors, attracts attention directly with its psychedelic guitar riffs, a musical feast that almost sounds like an Anatolian rock piece. The song itself remembers a relationship that has already ended but is newly finished, with the nostalgia of the excitement that once came from knocking on the forbidden doors. “First time that our eyes met, burned right through a sunset, take it down two steps baby” reveals the longing is already been feeling and still burning in embers deep inside. Subsequent songs like Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight or the titular piece of the album Pollen Song keeps tracking down the diary of this relationship. Alaina Moore’s vocals and words she uses reflect the bittersweetness of deciding to move on, get ahead, and leave the past that was once the solid truth behind. The last song, Pillow For a Cloud, marks an appendage to this genuine catalog, where time plays a key role as it always does. “Living on sighs taking our time, before it takes us over, if only you and I begin again, instead of reliving old sins” delivers the essential tone of solitude to express all these remembrances highlighted throughout the album. It is impossible not to relate to and amaze by the enveloping power of Tennis’ music and the descriptive scenery the duo covers wholeheartedly.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pollen – Tennis

Release Date: February 10, 2023
Genres: Indie Pop, Soft Rock, Synthpop, Bedroom Pop, Sophisti Pop, Psychedelic Pop
Label: Mutually Detrimental
Country: USA

Album Cover

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