Tegan And Sara: Synth Pop And Sticky Melodies

Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara performing in the Soundcheck studio. (Photo: Michael Katzif/WNYC)
Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara performing in the Soundcheck studio. (Photo: Michael Katzif/WNYC)

Today we had the identical twin-sister duo Tegan And Sara in the studio to perform songs from this its fizzy synth pop album Heartthrob. I’ve listened to this band for many many years at this point — really loved The Con from 2007. But with Heartthrob, the two are taking things in a much more mainstream radio dance pop direction — which on songs like “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” and “Closer” really really work. thanks to killer production and sticky melodies that burrow deep into your mind. Hard to do in modern radio pop.

When not making music together, Tegan and Sara Quin have both pursued writing for more pop-oriented artists like David Guetta and Alesso and Carly Rae Jepsen, among others. And you can really tell those collaborations have really sharpened Tegan and Sara’s hooks and songcraft.

“Bands constantly come to us for advice — young artists, aspiring artists, singers, writers, etc,” Tegan Quin said in her interview on Soundcheck. “And I always say, ‘the best thing you can do is go and collaborate with someone else, because you are broadening your horizon right away; instantly you are learning from someone else.’ And I think that that’s the best way to become a good writer.”

These songs are so well constructed to be memorable and singable, which is, no doubt, why Tegan And Sara has expanded beyond its admittedly feverish and diehard fanbase that has been with the band for years, into wider audiences and landing at No. 3 on the charts.

After so many years toiling in the indie rock circles, breaking many ceilings, and slowly building a devoted following, it’s cool to see them finally finding bigger success, while being true to themselves artistically.

We shot video and they gave a really solid interview, which effectively blew up the Soundcheck Web site. I also took a ton of photos which you can see on Tumblr.