Sonic Youth

Today’s Denver music scene is about much more than jam bands and Top 40 ear candy. Meet five Front Range artists that are making noise locally—and beyond.

June 2011

the dynamic duo

Tennis/ When Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore graduated from University of Colorado Denver in 2008, they didn’t get jobs. Instead, the Denver natives sold everything they owned, bought a 30-foot sailboat, and headed for open waters. In January, the now-married “band,” Tennis, released Cape Dory, a tribute to their eight-month Atlantic journey. Recorded in a LoDo studio, the LP’s fuzzed-out riffs, girl-group harmonies, and lo-fi vibe—Tennis’ throwback sound grew out of daily listening sessions on the boat to tunes by the Shirelles and Paul Simon—caught enough blog buzz to land them a deal with the indie label Fat Possum Records. “Some people get annoyed when we say, ‘We didn’t even mean to be a band, and look at how well it’s going!’ But it really was unintentional,” Moore says. The duo will hit Lollapalooza in August, and their future touring and recording plans are still being sorted out. And what about their skiff, still docked in North Carolina? “We can’t even motivate ourselves to relocate to the same state as our boat,” Moore says. “The more we leave Denver, the more we miss being here.”—Nicole Frehsée

Listen if you like: Indie rockers who fuse hazy riffs with mellow harmonies
On the Web: myspace.com/tennisinc
Track: "Take Me Somewhere"