Tennis is out with another EP so soon after their last Yours Conditionally LP, this time more honed on a certain ambiance than the last. The EP cover does not stray far from the atmosphere of the collection: a prom night for adults in their late-20s, swaying and bobbing their bodies to a sad, yet charismatic pop band. Fans can be pleasantly satisfied with this solid direction that Tennis is heading towards, which is considerably different from the sounds they started out with, such as their 2010 Cape Dory release. From LP to EP, this is what Tennis is about now.
The factors that make We Can Die Happy so prom-like can be heavily attributed to the drums and guitars. There is almost a waltz step to certain tracks such as “Building God” and also tracks that people can tamely rock out to in safe quarters, such as “Born to be Needed.” Furthermore, vocalist Alaina Moore drapes the room with soft, honey shimmers that coat tracks like a weighted security blanket. When her range soars high, it’s as if Tennis is holding their hand out, pulling listeners along to a nostalgic world.
Even though this release was most likely written and put together while Tennis was on the road, there is a massive stability that this EP brings. With the fact that the band’s hometown is in the capital of Colorado, it was as if this collection was released at the right time for warm fires and watching the snow fall outside the window. The vintage sounding guitars strum flames inside cold hearts, the sliding licks surrounding a November night with summer vibes. There are steady piano chords such as in “I Miss That Feeling” that bring a reality to the otherwise dreamy picture, making listeners miss memories that never happened.
Almost everyone who has an idea of what a puffy-dress, a scratchy corsage, and awkward slow-danced prom can relate to We Can Die Happy. Each track can highlight some aspect of the night, even that part of the evening when friends bust out early and road trip to the closest iHOP (“Diamond Rings”). The EP has a darkness that makes listeners feel like they’re older, trying to view life as innocently as before. Yet, Tennis instills the feeling that hearts are too tainted to ever go back to how pure the idea of teenage love was expected to be. We Can Die Happy is one of those collections that listeners can always fall back to. At the end of this short 16 minutes, listeners are caught off guard with a surprised, “What, that’s it?”