Tennis were born of the sea, with husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley starting the band after completing an eight-month expedition in their sailboat. Prior to working on a follow-up to 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, they once again set out on the Pacific Ocean. Now they’ve docked, and after spending time recording in their stationary living room, they’ve returned with a new single, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar”.
Synth and bass notes echo from the depths of jazzy ’70s funk, a subtle layer of reverb draped over it all like the first glimpses of sunset over the waves. But for all it’s shimmering indie pop beauty, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” is a smolderingly sardonic feminist anthem perfectly suited for social climate of today. “Ladies don’t play guitar/ Ladies don’t get down, down to the sound of it,” Moore sings with ironic scorn to open the track. “Maybe we can play pretend.”
“I’ve been pushing myself to present a stronger point of view lyrically and to make more assertions about the way I feel constricted or shaped by gender, like an invisible hand that guides the way I work and carry myself, especially within the music industry,” Moore told Stereogum about writing the track. “This song was my starting point. I took a very intentional break from songwriting until I felt like I had something to say again. Now I do.”
Take a listen below, and stay tuned for an official announcement of Tennis’ new LP.
“Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” Single Artwork: