Tegan & Sara – Heart Throb

tegansaraFirst published by greenmanmusic.biz 

I nearly skipped this one in the review pile. Coming to it with no prior knowledge it looked to me like some kind of cheesy X Factor rejects having a final stab at stardom. The acts name, the album’s name, the artwork, all screamed “mainstream nonsense” at me, loudly. But, being brave, I picked up the press release.  Yes, there are mentions of collaborations with chart bothering DJ/Producers Tiesto and David Guetta. But they were spotted by Elliot Roberts, who manages the legend that is Neil Young, and have been backed my members of Death Cab For Cutie, Weezer and AFI, appeared on the Peel stage  at Glastonbury and The Roundhouse and toured with Neil Young, The Black Keys and The Shins (oh and The Killers). So enough credibility (and The Killers) was lurking there for a superficial reviewer like me to have a listen.

Yes, the music is slick synth-pop, but the twins write it themselves and delving into the lyrics they seem to live interesting lives, themes of lust, longing, regret and erotic rapture. But these are not necessarily confessional, having a philosophical edge to them, observational  and reflectional rather than a real-time commentary. And certainly way more intelligently dealt with than most pop songs in today’s chart.

Vocally the girls are top notch singers, harmonising in the way that only siblings can and with enough of a unique delivery to be interesting (so many pop singers, especially female ones, sound exactly the same these days). The music hustles along, chirpy and with a light touch, there is no real doom and gloom, it is all very sunny and light. It gives you images of young people smiling and having fun, swanning around a dreamily cosmopolitan metropolis with magazine-perfect lives in a hazy, rose-tinted sunshine.

This occupies a strange kind of half-life territory between superficial, repetitive chart music and something more credible in the pop genre (like Goldfrapp), very much Ellie Goulding territory. So if that is your idea of pop heaven, get involved.

Heart Throb is out now on Warner Records

More on Tegan & Sara at www.teganandsara.com

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