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.”
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.