Quick Before it Melts

Shock to your system

by  |  January 29, 2013

“I won’t treat you like your typical,” say the sisters Quinn on Heartthrob, the seventh studio album from Tegan and Sara, and they could be speaking of their fans, their songs, or themselves.  Having spent about half their lives writing, recording and playing music, the 32 year old siblings couldn’t be expected to still sound like the folk-pop duo they were when they started out, so it’s really hard to pin down a clear description of what a “typical” Tegan and Sara song sounds like beyond saying that it’ll have flawless harmonies, humble, confessional lyrics, and an acute understanding of dramatic tension.  Whether they do all that set against the backdrop of coffee house strumming or nightclub-ready thumping beats is a moot point.  Tegan and Sara have been at this long enough that they deserve having the songs speak for themselves.

That’s not how the music world works, though.  The Quinn sisters have been plastered all over the ‘net these past weeks, debuting the 10 songs on Heartthrob and giving track-by-track breakdowns to try and sell home the point that underneath the glossy synth-pop production they’re the same girls they’ve always been.  But they’re not the same anymore.  Heartthrob is a full out statement of intent, a bigger, bolder move forward than their last album Sainthood was, and notice that Tegan and Sara are ready for the pop spotlight.

And they do so not with sugary, vapid throw-away pop songs but with sticky sweet missives about deteriorating friendships (“I Couldn’t Be Your Friend”), intense love affairs (“How Come You Don’t Want Me”), changing tastes (“Goodbye Goodbye”), and not living up to other expectations. (“I’m Not Your Hero”).  They may have worked with Ke$ha’s producer, but this record isn’t full of “Tick Tock” 2.0.  Their evolution has been organic, and unapologetic; as sure as Tegan and Sara pick up new fans with Heartthrob they’ll lose some long-time admirers who’ll be sure to feel alienated by the cool, synthetic sounds of “Shock to Your System”.  It’ll be those disenchanted fans’ loss; Heartthrob will renew your faith in pop music and remind you that it can be much more than typical.

Heartthrob is out today on Warner Bros.

CBC Music: Tegan and Sara
Facebook: Tegan and Sara
Twitter: Tegan and Sara

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  • BADBADNOTGOOD >> "Time Moves Slow" (feat. Sam Herring) BADBADNOTGOOD >> "Time Moves Slow" (feat. Sam Herring)
  • CHOBO CHOBO
  • TWIST >> "Soaked" TWIST >> "Soaked"

HEAVY ROTATION >>

  • WHOOP-SZO >> "Bmaadiziwin" WHOOP-SZO >> "Bmaadiziwin"
  • PREOCCUPATIONS >> "Anxiety" PREOCCUPATIONS >> "Anxiety"
  • THE BURNING HELL >> "Pop Goes the World" THE BURNING HELL >> "Pop Goes the World"
  • FEIST >> "Flamenco for Gord" FEIST >> "Flamenco for Gord"
  • PARTNER >> "Personal Weekend" PARTNER >> "Personal Weekend"
  • ISLANDS >> "No Milk, No Sugar" ISLANDS >> "No Milk, No Sugar" "No Milk, No Sugar" is Nick Thorburn's pop nonpareil, heavy with hook and melody, and so effortlessly cool that every other songwriter aspiring to pop music perfection best pack up their gear and take up traffic cone collecting.
  • IVY MAIRI >> "All Around Me" IVY MAIRI >> "All Around Me" "All Around Me" by Toronto based singer/songwriter Ivy Mairi is our #NewFavouriteSong. Click the link to listen to it yourself.
  • LUKA >> "Why Don't You Go To Her" LUKA >> "Why Don't You Go To Her"
  • SHIRLEY & THE PYRAMIDS >> "All The Time" SHIRLEY & THE PYRAMIDS >> "All The Time" Saskatoon's Shirley & The Pyramids wear their musical influences on the arm of their long-sleeved tee-shirts, but before you're quick to group them in with other neo-shoegazers, give a good listen to "All The Time", one of two advance singles from their recently released self-titled record. In it, you'll hear a the broad strokes of someone who's explored a range of sonic influencers--from 13th Floor Elevators to Ride, The Velvet Underground to Atlas Sound--and is now drilling down through the gauzy haze of guitar drone to find their essence, their truth.
  • EXPWY >> "Love in Idelness" EXPWY >> "Love in Idelness"






  • 10/10 >> YOUNG GALAXY 10/10 >> YOUNG GALAXY


  • 10/10 >> EXPWY / MATT LEGROULX 10/10 >> EXPWY / MATT LEGROULX

  • Albums2015QBiM Albums2015QBiM Quick Before It Melts Favourite Albums of 2015
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