If the current administration has its way, freakishly mild winters like the one visited upon Chicago this year promise to become more common—global climate change is already happening, and Trump’s policies could make it impossible for the U.S. to catch up with reality. March is when we usually get the first hint of the coming thaw, but I’ve been abandoning my winter coat from time to time since January—and I don’t see that as a good thing. Under these circumstances, listening to Yours Conditionally (out Friday on Mutually Detrimental/Thirty Tigers), the charming new album by Tennis, hasn’t provided the summery jolt it might’ve in years past—I can already picture and feel summer in my bones. But I can still appreciate the fizzy pleasure that the husband-and-wife duo of singer Alaina Moore and guitarist Patrick Riley serve up here.
The couple wrote the hooky songs on the new album during a five-month sailing trip through the Sea of Cortez—the sliver of water separating Baja, California, from mainland Mexico (more often called the Gulf of California). It must’ve been a pretty dreamy time, because the new album is packed with sunny, indelible melodies and sugary vocal harmonies. The songs tend to move among a few competing centers of gravity: early Madonna, the frothy retro-pop perfected by the Swedish combo the Cardigans, and 50s dream-pop. Their rolling grooves wag along on warm electric keyboard and occasional fuzzed-out bass lines. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is the single “My Emotions Are Blinding,” which summons the spirit of vintage Madge tracks like “Lucky Star.” Tennis headline Thalia Hall on Thursday night.
Laura Toxvaerd, Compositions Part 2 With Dødens Garderobe (ILK)
Potsa Lotsa Plus, Plays Love Suite by Eric Dolphy (Jazzwerkstatt)
Krystian Zimerman/Berliner Philharmoniker/Simon Rattle, Lutoslawski: Piano Concerto/Symphony No. 2 (Deutsche Grammophon)
Mbaraka Mwinshehe & Orchestra Super Volcano, Zanzibara 9: A Fresh Breeze From Tanzania 1972-74 (Buda)
Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Hushers (New Focus)