Acclaimed Indie-Pop Duo Celebrate Upcoming Fifth Studio Album
Acclaimed indie-pop duo Tennis has announced plans for a major North American headline tour. The dates get underway February 25 at Kansas City, MO’s Madrid Theatre & Café and then continue through early May. Highlights include top-billed performances at Boise, ID’s Treefort Music Fest (March 27) and Atlanta, GA’s annual Shaky Knees Music Festival (May 3). Support on all headline dates comes from Molly Burch. Tickets for all headline dates go on sale Friday, November 15 at 10 am (local).
In a heartfelt story on facebook, Tennis discusses the tough times that lead up to this tour.
“I never learned how to swim. In years of sailing, I never let the water touch me. The ocean was an abstract dread, an obliterating void as untenable as outer space.
In January 2018 we went on tour. After years of scraping by, we found our footing with our fourth record Yours Conditionally. It was a commercial success that set us up to to play the biggest rooms of our career. But three shows in, I developed a raging case of influenza. Each night I dragged myself onstage and croaked out the set in a delirium. After a particularly bad soundcheck, Patrick asked me if we should cancel the show. I couldn’t imagine giving up the thing we’d work so hard to achieve. “I’ll be on stage even if you have to mic my coffin,” I joked.
The next morning I fainted and had a seizure while grocery shopping for breakfast. Patrick carried me through the check-out lanes screaming for a doctor. I woke later in a hospital bed. Patrick leaned over me, crying. “That’s it,” he said. “I’m canceling the tour. I thought you were dead. We’re quitting the band. I’m going to be an accountant.” But I was on the mend. We missed two shows and pressed on.
During sound check at the 930 club, Patrick stepped out to take a phone call. His father had been in the hospital all week, but he had cancer and brief hospitalizations were routine. Back at the hotel that night, Patrick poured two shots of whiskey and handed me one. “I’d like to toast my dad.” He said. “The doctors offered to put him on life-support to give me a chance to fly out there, but I didn’t want him to suffer. Instead I said goodbye.”
Patrick went home to grieve with his family and rejoined us on the road two days later. I couldn’t believe how quickly our lives had unraveled in the midst of what was supposed to be a milestone in our career. As the tour continued, we found refuge in playing music together. Songwriting had always been an extension of our inner-world. Now we retreated to that world every time we stepped onstage.
After the final show of our tour in Austin, we received another phone call. Patrick’s mother Karen was in the hospital on the brink of a stroke. We got on a plane and went straight to her bedside. Her recovery took weeks. In the hospital waiting room, I wrote the opening line of “Matrimony II”: I only have certainty when you hold my hand.
On a hot July day, after Karen’s return to good health, we sailed as a family into the Pacific and scattered Edward’s ashes at sea. I marked our position on the chart with a small x. The album was already well under way. In that moment, I realized what I wanted to call it.
Swimmer is a tour of the darkest time in our lives. But it is not a dark record. Named for the feeling of suspension and upendedness that characterized this period, it is the story of deep-rooted companionship strengthened by pain and loss. These songs carried us through our grief. It is us at our most vulnerable, so we kept a small footprint, recording everything ourselves in our home studio. I set out to describe the love I have come to know after ten years of marriage, when you can no longer remember your life before that person, when the spark of early attraction has been replaced by a gravitational pull.
Swimmer is available everywhere February 14, 2020.”
Tour Dates 2019-2020
23 – Atlanta, GA – Over/Under Music Fest
25 – Kansas City, MO – Madrid Theatre & Cafe
27 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
28 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
29 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
02 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
04 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
26 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
28 – Missoula, MT – Top Hat Lounge
30 – Vancouver, BC – Venue Nightclub
31 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
01 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
03 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
04 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
05 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
08 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
10 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
16 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
17 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
18 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
20 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre Center
21 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre
22 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
24 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
25 – Boston, MA – Royale
26 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall
28 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
29 – Washington, DC – The 9:30 Club
30 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
01 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
04 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn
06 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
08 – Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall
09 – Saint Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
All Headline Dates w/Molly Burch