As a dandruff shampoo commercial taught us in our youth, first
impressions are everything -- and the opening track to Tegan
& Sara's upcoming album, due on Oct. 27, is quite the
silver bullet, or is it more like a quivering arrow?
It's true that the Quin twins somewhat resemble the kind of pixies who would shoot a feathery, magic-dusted dart, but "Arrow" is no innocent, cute thing. On one side, it's dark and abrupt, pleading and anxious. On the other, there's a calm, cold certainty to a line like, "I take my aim, do you feel me coming close?"
In an interview with the sisters earlier this year at the Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, they explained the development of the band that has occurred over six albums, including their 2004 breakthrough, "So Jealous."
"We're a straightforward pop band," Tegan said. "but we have plenty of quirks. It's about making those quirks not distracting."
On "Sainthood," which takes its title from a Leonard Cohen song, "Came So Far For Beauty," the quirks make for good texture. "Sainthood" takes on the nature of devotion and self-presentation in relationships, and the gamut of feelings are a real cathartic pleasure to behold. On one extreme, you have "Hell," the first single that you can listen to on their website; on the other, you have "Sentimental Tune." Ah, sounds like love all right.