Full disclosure at the start: I am a big Tegan and Sara fan. That said, the material I’ve heard from their new album Sainthood is some of their best. What’s impressive is the sisters take a step outside their normal style and try their hands at a variety of genres. A majority of the results are really successful. The first single off the album (posted here last week), “Hell,” is more punk rock than the duo have typically tried. They delve into 80’s dance territory and synthpop too, among others. The songs I’ll supply here I hope will provide an example of the sound exploration I’m talking about.
“On Directing” – I really love this song, and I think it might be the closest on the album to the sound we’re used to getting from T&S. It also contains one of my favorite lines, if only for its tongue-in-cheek honesty: “Go steady with me / I know it turns you off when I / Get talkin’ like a teen.”
“Alligator” – This strikes me as a little bit of a homage to 80’s pop. The plinking keyboard and electronic track that support the vocals and the chimes that come in partway through are really cool.
“Someday” – The vocals that don’t quite fit the pace, the Mates of State-esque backing keyboards, the shouting voices that punctuate some of the lyrics – they’re all magnificent. Love it. And this song contains more of my favorite lines. Sara wrote a lot of the lyrics for this album after getting out of a long-term relationship. These lines capture the uncertainty of “what comes next” after a break-up. Both for you and for the person you loved.
“Might paint something I might want to hang here someday
Might write something I want to say to you someday
Might do something I’d be proud of someday
Mark my words, I might be something someday
I don’t want to know that you don’t want me
I don’t want to know what you do without me
I don’t want to know what I’ll be without you
I don’t want to know, I don’t want to know”
So take these songs for what they’re worth. I think they’re wonderful. Hopefully you do as well.
Nice article on Tegan and Sara and Sainthood from Margaret Wappler of the LA Times