Canadian indie pop twins Tegan & Sara have been releasing music and touring for the past 13 years and constantly experiment with their unique style. Their new single “Closer” was released this week and the sisters play the Harmony by the Bay Festival in Mountain View on September 29. We spoke with Sara while she was in Vancouver preparing for an October tour with The Black Keys.
Tegan and Sara “Closer”
Your new song “Closer” has a more electronic sound than your previous indie rock records. What influenced that change?
I don’t think of it necessarily a decision to be more electronic, we still recorded and wrote the way we normally do. For example, with Sainthood we played a lot as a five-piece band with a bass player, drummer, guitarist and keyboards so it took on more of a traditional rock sound. With this record we wrote using loops and keyboards. We took “Closer” in more of a pop direction than a rock direction.
We’ve done a lot in the electronic music world over the last couple years, worked with a ton of DJs and writing for other people and electronic tracks. It’s not completely new for us but it’s not necessarily the focus that we’d have on our own.
We’ve also found ourselves now. In the past, we felt like if you change one little detail, people won’t know it’s you. Our voices are identifiable now in a way that it could still be a Tegan and Sara polka record and be awesome.
You’ve worked with Tiesto a lot in the past and he’s remixed your tracks. Do you have a special working relationship with him?
He’s great, he remixed “Back in Your Head” and we both ended up playing Bonnaroo and guesting during his set, which was a total thrill and really fun. We ended up writing quite a bit with him and the song “Feel it in My Bones” was a true songwriting collaboration with him. All that happened just from him doing a remix.
I love working with him, he’ll send us actual electronic tracks and Tegan and I write the lyrics. It’s really easy that we’re not working as a traditional band but it’s all over the Internet. He sends us tracks and we send them back and if he likes it, great, but if not, no harm done.
Since then, we’ve done that with quite a few artists actually, like Morgan Page and I did some writing with Theophilus London. I like stuff that I can do at home or wander around and get the head space without the pressure of the studio and producers.
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