Flickr March is over. The trees are budding early, the flowers are blooming…
- Posted on Feb 23rd 2012 2:30PM by Eric R. Danton
For starters, what to write about?
"We actually struggled with the same question," Moore tells Spinner. "We had so much freedom about where to go next. We both felt really intimidated, I guess overwhelmed, about where to start."
The first album was a breezy indie-pop chronicle of the couple's expedition down the Eastern Seaboard on a sailboat, but after months of singing those surfy songs on the road, the group -- which now includes drummer James Barone -- was ready for something different.
"We definitely knew we did not want to talk about sailing anymore, especially because it was no longer the most significant or pervasive element of our lives," Moore tells Spinner.
Ultimately, Moore found inspiration in a poem by William Butler Yeats, 'A Woman Young and Old,' in which a woman reflects on a lifetime's worth of memories, her tone shifting throughout. That resonated with Moore, who made it a central theme on 'Young and Old,' which Tennis recorded with Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney producing.
"I had gone through so much in the past year that I kind of wanted to show that change in my own voice and perspective on things, dealing with subject matter like relationships and various issues I had come into through Tennis, either dealing with critics or touring and coming out of my shell," she says.
Though she wrote from her own experience, the lyrics -- paired with effervescent girl group-style pop arrangements -- aren't necessarily autobiographical.
"I would start with a really personal experience so I would have more visceral descriptions, and then I worked very hard to abstract it," Moore says. "'Cape Dory' came across to a lot of people as just so cute, which we didn't really mean to do. It just came out that way. We have other emotions besides incandescent happiness."
Working with Carney grew out of Tennis' admiration for the sound the drummer got when the Black Keys were recording themselves.
"We felt like he did a really good job of getting an analog sound, but still making a high-fidelity record," Moore says. "We wanted to find a middle ground between elements of lo-fi production that we love, without actually being lo-fi, and we like he could do that."
'Young and Old' is out now via Fat Possum.