Tegan and Sara at The Troxy
You won’t be alone if you haven’t heard of Canadian duo Tegan and Sara before. Although having toured America and Canada for over ten years and releasing their seventh studio album Hearthrob, they are yet to generate more than a cult status in Britain. This is their first record to step away from their previous indie/rock sound and as a result is pricking the ears of a mainstream audience. The introduction of pop rhythms and synths can be attributed to their collaboration with Greg Kurstin, responsible for chart hits with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Marina & the Diamonds, among others.
Their performance began with their newer material, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with I Was A Fool, Drove Me Wild and the more emotional I Couldn’t Be Your Friend. This is informed pop, taking the best of the 80s world of synths and pairing it with intelligent, poetic lyrics. Older than the average pop star, at 32 the Quin twins hold an authority on stage that is refreshing and aligns them with the likes of Robyn and the recently successful girl band Haim. Your ears are greeted with the kind of music that will no doubt feature on the next soundtrack of the popular HBO series Girls: entirely intelligent and credible pop.
The other part of their set is filled with a selection of older material such as Ghost, which does make everything feel slightly disjointed. This greater focus on acoustic guitar and melodic piano made more sense on their previous tours, backing bands such as The Black Keys and The Shins. These songs now serve as a bit of a mixed bag musically, but the consistent themes of lust, longing and regret grant them a universal appeal. One possible concern is that the new direction may alienate their current fans, however the deafening audience participation throughout all 22 songs would suggest otherwise.
For further information and future events visit Tegan and Sara’s website here.
Watch the video for I Was a Fool here: