New Music from The Antlers, Tennis

Download (right click, “save as”): The Antlers, “VCR” (the xx cover) 

Fresh off of their release of one of 2011’s finer albums, Burst Apart (check the excellent album-closing belated tune here), The Antlers have plans to release an EP filled with outtake goodies. (Together) features a handful of collaborations, two new versions of the menacing “Parentheses”, and this: a quaint, densely layered cover of the xx’s “VCR.” Seemingly haunted, distorted echoes and dark synths serve as a complete transformation from the minimal, playful original from the xx. This is just one of eight tracks from (Together), which is due out November 22. Below is the tracklist, via Pitchfork:

01 Parentheses (PVT remix)
02 Tongue Tied
03 French Exit (SNRF version)
04 I Don’t Want Love (Peter’s version)
05 VCR (The xx cover)
06 Hounds [ft. Nicole Atkins]
07 Rolled Together [ft. Neon Indian]
08 Parentheses [ft. Bear in Heaven]


Meanwhile, in the not-quite-as-near future, Tennis is releasing their sophomore album, Young & Old, in February 2012. Their solid 2011 debut, Cape Dory, boasts a handful of excellent singles, but has received a fair share of due criticism for its lack of diversity. However, as evidenced by this cut (presumably) from the new record, “Origins”, the sea-loving rockers from Colorado seem to have found a way to progress their sound in a very savory way.

While putting together our Favorite Albums of 2011 (Thus Far) feature earlier this year, I was holding out hope that Tennis wouldn’t fizzle out after a handful of sailboat tunes. These hopes have been realized. A lengthy yet enlightening excerpt from lead singer Alaina Moore’s message to the band’s mailing list regarding the new sound after the jump: 

When we finally wrote our first new song after Cape Dory, we knew we had gone in a direction that felt good, like we belonged there.

My greatest new writing challenge presented itself lyrically. With Cape Dory my only goal was to narrate, rather matter of factly, the happenings of our sailing trip; to convey a story in the simplest manner. I used Cape Dory to describe my own understanding of love and my encounters with fear and self-doubt. But I was only writing for me, and I didn’t need to explain to myself what I meant. I knew that when I wrote again, my first challenge would be to write with an audience in mind which would mean dealing with things that are harder to get at and more difficult to share.

After more than a month of feeling like I had nothing to say, I came across Yeat’s “A Woman Young and Old” for the first time. I had heard the line “I’d have him love the thing that was before the world was made” many times before but it meant nothing, now; it suddenly meant something to me.

I thought about how the suddenness of becoming a band and spending so much time on the road with others seemed to bring out the best and the worst in me. I thought a lot about human nature—mine really, and the way it had been portrayed to me in my childhood. I felt frustrated with the self-defeating conception of humanity I was presented with. So when Patrick wrote the music for the song “Origins, I decided to take it as an opportunity to flesh out this inner dialogue.

After finishing “Origins”, a small vision for the entire record began to take shape and suddenly I had pages and pages of potential lyrics. This song is not a story about how Patrick and I met and moved onto a sailboat. It’s not even about me, but somehow it is much more personal. And I wouldn’t have written a line of this song if it hadn’t been for Yeats.