The ocean is to Tennis what the spinach is to Popeye: the source from which they derive their impressive power. Prior to forming the band, the husband-and-wife duo embarked on an eight-month sailing expedition that inspired the first songs they ever wrote together. So it’s no surprise the couple returned to that vast well once again to seek inspiration for their next album and follow-up to 2014’s Ritual In Repeat. After returning from their Pacific Ocean venture (an experience blogged by Urban Outfitters), the two immediately began recording new material in their living room, and today are sharing one of the resulting singles “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar.” Vocalist Alaina Moore explained the song’s origins:
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. 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.
Right from the outset, Moore’s on the offense. “Ladies don’t play guitar/ Ladies don’t get down, down to the sound of it/ Maybe we can play pretend,” she sings with what you imagine is a damning glint in her eye, before turning her attack from the sexist perception to the sexists themselves: “Ladies just need your love/ Don’t you know we are all caught up in it.” Yet even through her sardonic sneer, Moore’s voice is as melodious as ever, and the song itself has that classic Tennis pep in its step. It’s perfect for catching sun on the high seas, but is also much needed social commentary on the expectations placed on female musicians. Listen below.
No word yet on when the next Tennis album will be dropping, but this song bodes well for it.