Sisters Tegan and Sara Quin could be considered icons of the indie rock scene. Their music remains an eclectic mix of electric and acoustic guitars, electronic elements and impeccable vocals.
Since the late ’90s, the Quin sisters have displayed a talent for keeping their sound fresh by consistently forcing evolution on their music. This evolution is definitely evident in their latest release “Heartthrob.”
Tegan & Sara went to great lengths to make this album an obvious departure from their previous material. With a team of four producers, the duo created an album that delves into the electronic pop side of the indie world.
While many were skeptical as to the outcome of this project, a majority of critics and fans have lauded “Heartthrob.”
When Lagniappe spoke with Tegan Quin, she explained that the duo’s sonic evolution is just part of the process.
SC: With “Heartthrob,” one of your goals was to evolve your sound and give the public something different. What kind of challenges did you face trying to meet that goal?
TQ: With each record, we attempt at doing something fresh and unexpected. The main goal is to excite ourselves. The worst thing in the world would be getting bored or uninspired with our own project and have to quit, but with “Heartthrob,” we took it one step further and decided to try and really shake things up in the T+S world. We wanted to make something undeniably good, but also completely and totally different.
I think we bridged the world we’ve been in and the world we want to explore. Intelligent pop can be done. I think we just wanted to ensure we could do it. Who knows what’s next?
SC: While many artists might work with one or two producers, you two had a team of four. What made you want to take that route with the album’s creation?
TQ: We did the bulk of the record with Greg Kurstin (Pink, The Shins). He did eight of 12 tracks. Justin Meldal-Johnson (Young the Giant, Paramore) did two of 12, and then, Mike Elizondo (Maroon 5, Mastodon) did the remaining two that ended up being B-sides on the digital deluxe release. Our goal was to try and use one producer, but the universe had other ideas. It stressed us out to imagine doing it the way we ended up doing it, but looking back I loved using different producers. I loved doing the record in parts. I think the record is stronger, because we had time to listen back to what we were doing and make changes. Each new song we worked on influenced the next. In the past, we’ve just done it all in one shot with one producer, and I think we really needed to do something different.
SC: Do you think you will revisit some of the musical choices that you made on this album?
TQ: We never know what kind of record we’re going to make, until we write the songs. They influence our choices about producers and production and the direction we go in. I think we definitely have seen and heard loud and clear that our fans like the upbeat stuff, so likely, we’ll do a lot more of what we did with ‘Heartthrob.’
SC: When you hear about siblings performing together, you usually hear about how they can’t stand each other. However, you and your sister have been going pretty strong for many years now. To what do you owe your longevity?
TQ: Truthfully, if we didn’t get along as well as we do, we would have quit. The true privilege of doing what we do is sharing it with Sara. It makes our lives so special. If we weren’t enjoying it at this point, we could have signed off and moved on to something else. There are definitely moments of intense struggle, but we both see it as us struggling to create something wonderful. So, the struggle is almost celebrated. In general, we give each other space to be grumpy. We take turns being the boss. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, and we avoid conflict, if we can. That’s how it’s done!
Tegan & Sara
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Stage: Chevrolet Stage
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access. During the month of December, give (or get) a one year subscription with TWO months FREE.