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Tegan and Sara Continue Pop Evolution on 'Heartthrob' – Album Premiere

New LP reflects sisters' confidence as they broaden their sound

Tegan and Sara, 'Heartthrob '
Warner Brothers Records
January 24, 2013 9:00 AM ET

Tegan and Sara first built a legion of dedicated fans as a heartfelt folk-rock duo, but the past few years have seen the sisters evolving as pop artists. Their latest, Heartthrob, embraces undeniably dance-y synth-pop, deep bass and gigantic, enveloping hooks quite removed from the guitar-based music they made their name with. "We did have to make a conscious effort to make our record sonically more smooth and pleasing," Tegan told Rolling Stone last month. "We didn't want to take a small step. We wanted to take a big step."

Q&A: Tegan and Sara on Sibling Rivalry, Leaving the Indie World Behind

Part of that big step was selecting the right name for the adventuresome new album – Tegan and Sara pored through nearly 100 titles, but only came to an agreement after a spat. Tegan finally whittled the list down to five names and sent it to Sara, who was immediately drawn to "heartthrob." "I didn't want a passive title, I didn't want something that made us sort of seemed martyred," says Sara in a new video interview, below. "I wanted something that was very confident because we were feeling so confident about the album that we had made."

"Heartthrob really fit for me because . . . I idolize the people that I date, I truly put them up on a pedestal, so it really resonated with me," adds Tegan. But love is a battleground, with high and lows, and Tegan and Sara note that deterioration is a heavy theme on the album. "What was once a really strong obsession or fixation, it wears away over time," says Sara. "I love the idea that we make these albums and that they feel so in the moment and modern and vibrant and relevant, and then in two years, you feel it sort of like slip away."

Hearttthrob is due January 29th.

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Song Stories

“I Was Made to Love Her”

Stevie Wonder | 1967

Stevie Wonder discovered true love while still a teenager, writing this ode to young love when he was only 17. The song, Wonder explained, "kind of speaks of my first love, to a girl named Angie, who was a very beautiful woman. She's married now. Actually, she was my third girlfriend but my first love. I used to call Angie up and we would talk and say, 'I love you, I love you,' and we'd talk and we'd both go to sleep on the phone.” The Beach Boys, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men have all recorded versions of "I Was Made to Love Her."

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