Music Reviews
Cape Dory

Tennis Cape Dory

(Fat Possum) Buy it from Insound Rating - 7/10

Finally determined to turn their mental diversion into reality, husband—wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore embarked on an eight-month journey across the Atlantic so they could have the most delightful of stories to tell. Their story has captivated a plenty who wish to escape from their mundane lives to fulfill the ultimate honeymoon. It’s easy to see the appeal since these are the sorts of uncertainties couples go through at least once in their lives, whether it’s a big move, a trip to a foreign destination, or a permanent holiday. In the end, the documentation is what matters – having the snapshots and journal entries to continuously relive the best years.

Peculiarly, Cape Dory is virtually told from the viewpoint of the couples’ sailboat – it serves as a protagonist, forecasting both the placid and excitable moments. On Pigeon, the couple unwinds to the rocking movement of a mild day. The next, as expressed in Marathon, they’re fighting for their lives, coming close to jibing against the heavy wind.  Instead of divulging personal accounts, the verses on Cape Dory rhyme like naturalist poetry, radiating with picturesque images such as old conch shells and cyprus trees. For instance, a lyric like And we won’t turn back til the shoreline is out of sight is both playfully clever and painfully cute. Despite tackling both the strife and wonder of sailing athwart the high seas, the pleasant background of the songs are equally harmonized. So in a way, any treacherous plot point will feel slightly toned down and even comical, evoking the naïve veracity of a vintage Hollywood romance.

Taking aside the romantic element, Cape Dory collects ten punchy, economical tracks to compliment its windswept concept. As expected, the production casts unprocessed techniques to thwart a lush sixties sound. You can detect the influences from over a mile away: doo wop and uptown soul, a bit of that hoarse Spector pop, and bracing twee pop. After going through a cosmetic change from the EP version, Cape Dory’s reverberating guitars and crescendo chord changes are now coated with a striking wall of sound. Courtesy of Riley’s guitar effects, the amiable melodies of Seafarer and Take Me Somewhere loop with a mid tempo groove; his guitar élan sounds as if he held Dick Dale or the Ventures hostage and forced them to chill out with the tremolo picking. As for Moore, her vocal range is limited but never obtrusive – in Baltimore, her gentle whoa-oh’s and saccharine pitch adorably contrasts with the songs' accelerated pace.

Coming off as travel pamphlet models, the message behind Cape Dory is prone to fantasizing. Even if the idea of self-abnegation (as they state) sounds ideally romantic, it also fails to give us insight in relation to all the other components that define a relationship as a growing experience. And that’s probably the point: this sort of escapist experience really brings people together in accord. For a brief thirty minutes, Riley and Moore opt to share a reliable set of savory pop nostalgia. The overall sound may be modest, but in context, will most likely relate with those fortunate enough to live an affluent, fanciful lifestyle.