Tennis are an indie pop duo comprising husband and wife Patrick Riley (guitar, keyboards, production) and Alaina Moore (vocals, keyboards). They met while students in Colorado, and after graduating college they bought a sailboat and spent seven months sailing along the Eastern Seaboard. Post-adventure, they moved back to Colorado, and after getting settled began recording songs that had a modern lo-fi feel but a sweet '50s pop heart. The songs were inspired by their trip and the discussions they would have about music while on board their boat (the Swift Ranger). The duo's first single, "South Carolina," was released in summer of 2010 on Fire Talk Records, to be quickly followed by their second single, "Baltimore," for the Underwater Peoples label. The rest of the year was spent playing shows (including a Daytrotter session in September) and recording their first album. Cape Dory was released in January of 2011 by Fat Possum. The band toured tirelessly that year in support of Cape Dory, playing shows across the U.S. as well as jaunts through Europe and Russia.
Tennis quickly regrouped and began work on their second full-length. The album Young & Old was written and recorded in a relatively short three-month span. Produced by Black Keys member Patrick Carney and featuring drums by new bandmember James Barone, the album was released by Fat Possum in February of 2012. The band soon switched labels, signing with Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett's Communion Music, before releasing the Small Sound EP on Communion in late 2013. The trio returned with their third album, Ritual in Repeat, in the autumn of 2014. More accessible and diverse than previous efforts, the record featured songs produced by Richard Swift, the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, and Spoon's Jim Eno.
Barone left the band and Riley and Moore began working on another album. Finding themselves blocked creatively, they set sail on another journey by sea, traveling from San Diego south past the Baja coast to the Sea of Cortez, where they docked and worked on music for four months. Once back home, they decided to start their own record label, Mutually Detrimental, and in late 2016 released two songs from their upcoming fourth album. The duo handled production chores themselves this time out and were joined on many tracks by their tour drummer, Steve Voss of the band Tetherball. Yours Conditionally was released in early 2017 as the band set out for a long North American tour. They found time to record more songs, too, and released the five-track We Can Die Happy EP in November.