Wild, Obsessive, Lustful Love: Inside Tegan and Sara's New Heartthrob
Sara admits it's taken some outside forces to nudge them in this sonic direction. "[Tegan and I] intrinsically know one another, and the gift of that closeness is probably felt better in our live performances. But I think our music has benefited from a producer in the way some married people thrive in couples' counseling. Producers force us both out of patterns and habits that are easy to fall back on. We wanted some tough love, musically speaking, on this record, and bringing in skilled adults to help navigate some of that was essential."
"Greg would leave my head spinning as I sat there listening to the songs' sometimes meteoric evolution," she says. "I couldn't believe how many fantastic and inspiring ideas would pop out of him in an hour. He would do something miraculous to a track and then spin around and say, 'Time for lunch?' No big whoop."
The pair has found that translating the songs to the stage, making them fit with their extensive back catalog, has been fairly easy, even if figuring out which songs to play each night proves more difficult. "It's so long," Sara says of the set list. "Sometimes I feel like we're totally warranted in needing teleprompters. We don't argue, but it can look like we're trying to complete SAT-level calculus before a show when we're trying to sort seven albums of songs into a manageable show."
All those albums and more than 15 years in, it's evolutions like Heartthrob -- and its potential to rope in some new fans -- that help keep Sara in the game. "I think we're still challenging ourselves and fighting to get new opportunities and experiences, and that inspires me to keep creating songs and images that will draw audiences in. It's an addictive lifestyle, and I occasionally stop or check out for a few months to remind myself that I prefer to be in the eye of the storm."