Tennis: Cape Dory

Cape Dory
Fat Possum

The snow is still melting in parts of the country, but Fat Possum Records may have just churned out the best summer album for 2011.

Cape Dory, the debut from Tennis – comprised of wife/husband duo Alaina Moore (vocals/keyboard) and Patrick Riley (guitars/keyboard) – takes the retro pop influences of The Beach Boys and mixes it with Moore’s dreamy, seemingly effortless delivery for one of the most satisfying releases so far this year.

With a voice recalling everyone from The Innocence Mission’s Karen Peris to The Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins, Moore’s vocals perfectly complement the jangly pop guitars on songs like “Long Boat Pass” and the title track. It’s clear that the songs were inspired by the couple’s year-long stay on a sailboat, trekking along the eastern seaboard, with every song owing to the nautical theme.

Because there are no inane choruses, computer-generated beats or auto tuned vocals anywhere on the album, its doubtful Cape Dory will be responsible for the summer jam this year, but damn it should be.