Sahan Jayasuriya
Back in Your Head

Tegan and Sara return to the Pabst Theater

The Canadian alternative pop duo returns to Milwaukee in support of "Heartthrob," a slick album that marks a new chapter without betraying their old sound.

By - Mar 7th, 2013 01:10 am
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Heartfelt Heartthrobs: Tegan and Sara Quin. Photo: Lyndsey Byrnes

Alternative pop sister duo Tegan and Sara spent the last decade charming audiences with their hook-laden and hyper catchy songs, first in their native Canada and eventually across the globe. Early releases like 2000’s This Business of Art showcased a breezy and upbeat acoustic sound, recalling artists like Ani DiFranco. As the band progressed, their sound became a bit more refined, with the band incorporating louder electric guitars into the mix. Albums like 2004’s So Jealous and 2009’s Sainthood perfected the sisters’ take on the early-to-mid 2000s pop punk sound, but with more lyrical and musical depth than their contemporaries. Tegan and Sara will be returning to the Pabst Theater tonight, in support of their latest album Heartthrob.

Tegan and Sara have progressed with every release. Heartthrob is no exception. The difference is that the duo’s past few releases have clear parallels among them, Heartthrob stands out from the rest of the bunch, marking a new chapter in the band’s career. While the band has always had subtle electro-pop leanings on various tracks in the past, Heartthrob focuses more intently on them, turning down the distorted guitars and live drums and turning up the synthesizers and programmed rhythms. The result: the band’s most slick and commercial-sounding release to date.

More specifically, however, it’s an album full of club bangers. Singles “Closer” and “Goodbye,Goodbye” sound like a modern take on disco, with their dance-floor-ready rhythms and synthesizer tidal waves. The sound of previous releases can be heard on tracks like “Love They Say” and “Drove Me Wild”. The basic Tegan and Sara elements are there – acoustic strums and dirty basslines – but they’re driven by a pounding club backing track.

It’s no doubt that this album was a conscious shift on the band’s behalf, and while it may divide their audience, it’s interesting to see the girls not repeat themselves. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it blows Carly Rae Jepsen out (or oot) of the water, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Tegan and Sara make their return to the Pabst Theater tonight. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here. Watch the video for “Closer” from Heartthrob below.

Follow Sahan Jayasuriya on Twitter and Instagram at @sahanicyouth.

Categories: Life & Leisure, Rock

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