Tegan and Sara's eighth studio album, Love You to Death, re-evaluates pop music
Pop goes the indie duo as the sisters get ready to tour
After forming in 1995, Tegan and Sara spent the first 19 years of their career riding the indie pop wave all the way world fame. Their first six studio albums were loaded with distinctive semi-ballads that straddled the line between folk and rock, as the duo caught the attention of the world with airtight harmonies and heavy riffs (well, heavy for the acoustic guitar).
All that changed when the band turned 20. The duo (sisters, in case you've never seen a picture of them side by side) released Hearthrob – a properly poptastic album produced by Greg Kurstin, who is known for his work with P!nk and Kelly Clarkson. Every song sounded tailor-made for radio, while the Tegan and Sara-isms fans had come to expect seemed nowhere in sight. Gone was the angst of '19'. Gone was the pain of 'Call It Off'. All that was left was pure, unadulterated pop.
It was a strange move for the band, but the stranger thing is: it worked. Heartthrob was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize, after debuting on the Billboard top 200 at number three. The duo even won 'Pop Band of the Year' at the Juno Awards. Now, their eighth studio album, Love You to Death, is set to follow on from that success when it's released in June.
Though still very much pop-heavy, the new album promises to 'cast darker shadows' and 'linger longer in the psyche'. It sees the sisters mine their own relationships for material, as they 'take a page from dramatic non-fiction'. The pair are touring the UK in support of the album in February, and will play at Glasgow's O2 ABC on Fri 17.
Audience members shouldn't look for the emotional acoustic songs of old, though. The new Tegan and Sara sounds like P!nk meets, well, a talented songwriter. Love You to Death marks the death of Tegan and Sara's indie career, but in this case, the proof is in the pudding: for this duo, pop works.
Tegan and Sara; O2 ABC, Glasgow, Fri 17 Feb; then touring.