Date: September 23rd, 2004
Author: Vit Wagner, Pop Music Critic
Headline: Two, Two Songwriters In One
Tegan and Sara Get Recognition
So Jealous album drifts toward pop
When Tegan and Sara perform at next month's Bridge School Benefit, the Neil Young-founded fundraiser held annually outside San Francisco, it will be a return engagement for the Calgary-bred singing/songwriting twins who survived something of a professional baptism at the same event four years ago.
The Quin sisters, then 20, had just released their U.S. debut, This Business Of Art, on Young's Vapor Records. And they were joined on the bill by the vastly more celebrated likes of Beck, the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty.
"It was the first time Tegan and I had ever met famous people," Sara recalls. "I remember I was nauseous. I felt like I was in junior high again."
So it should be like old home week this time around. Who cares if the star attraction just happens to be a former Beatle?
"We've been invited, so you just have to be confident about who you are," Sara says. "But maybe I'll see Paul McCartney and I'll fall down and barf on myself or something. I really don't know."
Before then, Tegan and Sara have a string of slightly less prestigious engagements, including a set at the Mod Club Theatre Monday, to promote the recently issued So Jealous.
The disc, building on 2002's If It Was You, continues a progression that has seen the unfailingly tuneful and hook-minded siblings shift gradually from their Ani DiFranco-esque folk-rock roots into something more like synthy, new wave pop. Launched to a whack of positive press south of the border, including affirmative reports in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, it has generated something of a buzz.
"We're sensing that there is definitely more momentum coming into the record," Sara says. "Instead of building the momentum during the course of the record's lifespan, it's more like, `Hey, we're out of the gate. Here we go.'
"I'm hoping that we won't have to tour as much or as hard," she continues, with a laugh. "It'll be all limousines and Hummers and stuff. I totally see that in the future. I'm just kidding about the limos and the Hummers.
"I don't think we're ever going to have our own show on MTV. We're never going to be living in giant houses and only wearing fur coats and bathing suits. That's never going to happen to us. I always imagine myself playing music, but I always imagine it's going to be like this. This is how it is. You go out every night and you play shows. Sometimes it's not very glamorous. But it's fun. And this is what you do."
So Jealous is the first album that the sisters have written from different ends of the country. After leaving Calgary, both women lived in Vancouver for a couple of years, but Sara has since moved to Montreal.
By the time they entered the studio they had written something like 30 songs between them. After half-seriously toying with the idea of releasing a double album - Tegan's songs on one disc, Sara's on the other (à la OutKast) - they settled on a single, 14-track CD.
"Even though we made a record that's cohesive," says Sara, "when I listen to it, it still kind of sounds like a double record. There are songs that were written in one part of the country in one life and songs that were written on the other side of the country in the other life."