Tennis has always had a knack for putting music to feelings of heartache, lipstick, and big moods. Their music is a combination of retro influences and forlorn lyrics, yet it feels completely new. Yours Conditionally sticks to the essence of what Tennis is, but there is a certain musical growth in the album that mirrors lyrics about emotional intensity, love, and personal growth.
Each of the album’s 10 tracks are strong standalone pieces, each one telling a unique story that becomes part of the larger emotional narrative of the album as a whole. The tales told in “Fields of Blue”, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar”, and “Please Don’t Ruin This For Me” really stood out to me.
“Fields of Blue” goes through the emotions of succumbing to love and falling into dreamy spaces of perfect fit, all while being backed by delicate, effortless sounding melodies that are reminiscent of Françoise Hardy. Taking the theme of giving in to love in a different direction, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” packs more of a punch with retro guitar melodies and poetically illustrates the ways in which women bend and mold themselves to the needs of others. “Please Don’t Ruin This For Me” is strangely but wonderfully reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel, but with Alaina Moore’s voice telling a story of reclaiming space and being self sufficient.
Yours Conditionally is a poetic narrative of love and feeling that is paralleled by fantastical imagery. It’s been one of my favorite albums to listen to since the day it came out, and I have a feeling that it will be a favorite for a while.
by Hayley Robertson