It’s never too late to get yourself a pop makeover.
Tegan and Sara have been releasing music together since the ’90s, and have been Canadian twins together since birth. (Can you tell them apart??) Since their musical formation, they’ve treaded in folky, indie, and rock-y waters, developing a devoted fanbase (consisting of more than just Canadian twins) along the way. Three weeks ago, the duo released Heartthrob, a 10 song collection of radio-ready pop.
In spite of its poppiness, Heartthrob still provides all the elements that make a Tegan and Sara album a Tegan and Sara album—simple song structure with the occasional twist, heartbreaking relationship details put simply—just in a different package reaching different (and more) people. The tunes still comfort the lovelorn soul, provided the lovelorn soul in question doesn’t mind bobbing their head a little more than usual.
Did their devotees rebel against this “commercial” shift? Well, with “Closer” having made a very strong showing in our weekly Pop-Off song battle after having nearly owned our Greatest Love Song Since You Were Born tournament, it would appear that the fans are pretty cool about the whole thing. Tegan and Sara were already the obvious choice for our Artist of the Week, but seeing them live two nights ago sealed the deal.
We’d already spoken to Sara about the art of crafting the perfect love song, so we were naturally jonesing for some one-on-one time with Tegan (wouldn’t want one of them to develop a complex or anything).
Poor Teegs had strep throat!
No matter. Tegan was still ever the social butterfly, just minus any hugs or general germ-spreading behavior. We didn’t want to overtax her—I mean, we’ve never personally been asked to entertain 2,894 people while suffering from strep throat, but it does sound like a challenge. Thus, we stuck with one kinda lame question, which resulted in an answer that was the opposite of lame:
Popdust: Do you dedicate specific performances to specific people, places, or things? Sorry, that question was kinda lame…
Tegan: Well, we don’t explicitly dedicate every performance to a certain person, but, if we met someone that day who was mean or an asshole, [Sara and I] will jokingly be like, “This is for them.”
Popdust: So, this performance is dedicated to me, is what you’re saying?
Tegan: Precisely what I’m saying. OH! One time, the band was huddling up before a show, and, okay, on our tour bus, the water came from this hose that was attached to the bus. The hose was really, really dirty, so we weren’t supposed to drink water from the bus. Then, one night, our very Christian drummer—like, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t swear—said before the show, “Let’s do this one for the dirty hose.”
(Say it aloud…)
At the actual concert, what was most astonishing was the audience’s response to Heartthrob (which they played in its entirety). Despite its short time on the shelves, every new song got the crowd screaming and singing along like they’d just heard the first strains of an older fan fave like “The Con” or “Walking With a Ghost.”
We were right there with them.
May this Artist of the Week crown turn into an Artist of the Year crown. Or, hey, Artist of the Century crown, why limit them?