Date: October/ November 2000
Author: Dylan Siegler
Publication: Ms.

Tegan and Sara have an inborn gimmick: the two are hypertalented nineteen-year-old singing, songwriting twins form Calgary, Alberta, Canada. But with a debut album this mature and musical they don’t need to scheme to turn heads. Built on percussive, stuttering acoustic guitar chords, drums, and bass, Tegan and Sara’s songs are solid pop-meets-punk structures. The chichka-chicka-chicka of the duo’s guitars dutifully spotlights their vocals, easily the most powerful element of their sound –a sound that’s undeniably reminiscent of Ani DiFranco’s speak/spit/hum/ growl vocal approach (the guitar sounds pretty familiar too). Nevertheless, Tegan and Sara display a stylized diction and smoky range all their own. Lyrically, This Business of Art deals with subjects like touchingly gender-bending puppy love and how an all-work-no-play ethic can destroy a relationship. And though several songs are as relentlessly, sappily positive as Girl Scout anthems –“proud to be/ I’m proud to be me” –it’s hard to fault Tegan and Sara for their lack of cynicism. With this debut, they’re clearly looking toward a bright future.