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'Cape Dory,' Tennis

Tennis was fun while it was underground, but kinda lost its edge in the studio.

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The backstory is too good not to mention: A married couple from Denver quit their jobs and spend eight months sailing around the world. They’re both part-time musicians, so while on the boat, they write a bunch of songs. Upon returning, they release demo versions of the tracks, get instant love from the blogosphere, and sign a record deal. And now, the long-awaited debut LP arrives, and with it, the realization that this particular narrative doesn’t quite achieve fairy tale status.

The charm of those early demos was the duo’s ability to blend a certain lo-fi edge with the simple, catchy fun of ’50s girl group numbers, but on Cape Dory, the edge is gone. The songs have been smoothed out and gussied up, leaving a mildly pleasing dish of straight-up nostalgia that’s fun in small doses. Over the course of an entire album, though, it gets tedious.

DOWNLOAD: “Marathon”

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