Cult duo Tegan and Sara have decided to switch gears for their seventh studio album Heartthrob. 17 years since their debut record, the Canadian siblings return to their throne as indie pop royalty with the aid of distinctive melodies, harmonies and lashings of forward-thinking synth. We caught up with the girls as they were touring with The Killers.

Tegan and Sara

What’s been keeping you occupied since the last record Sainthood?

We worked on a few collaborations with Morgan Page, David Guetta and Theophilus London. We put out a DVD (Get Along) and wrote a new album! It was a total pleasure to take a few years off to focus on projects that allowed us to leave the suitcase under the bed and have a life from home. But we’re back on tour and feeling very excited about touring a new album!

You’re identical twins so you’ve been a duo since forever. Are there any artistic differences that you have to cope with?

I think we compliment each other well. We tend to be total opposites when it comes to certain things but for the most part that works to our advantage. My patience and methodical tendencies probably drive Tegan crazy, but I think its helped set a pace for our output of music and art that is more sustainable. Tegan’s gut instincts and ambition have allowed us to take risks and build our career upward during times where my hesitations could have let us miss out on big opportunities! Being siblings has made us instinctive as both performers and business partners.

How do you separate your personal lives with your career?

We’ve lived in separate cities for ten years and that has allowed us to cultivate our personal lives with a tremendous amount of autonomy. That distance gives space to our relationship after long periods of intense togetherness and I think its been the key to our ongoing success and happiness (with one another).

Is new single ‘Closer’ an example of the new direction that your sound has evolved into?

I think we proactively wrote and produced an album with a lot of diversity in order to reach new people but also to artistically satisfy people invested in our previous material. We know our voices are the signature to our band and focusing on harmonies and lyrics helped bridge some of the stylistic advancements. Ultimately, we just want to keep people interested and reinvigorated by what we’re doing live and on our recordings.

The new album Heartthrob is released early next year. How will it compare to its predecessors?

I believe that if you’ve liked our band in the past, you’ll still like us! But, I also think this album sonically allows for a wider range of people to hear us. We grew up listening to intelligent pop music and we hope that this album allows for a more universal audience without snubbing our niche market of fans who’ve supported us for a decade.

You’ve been touring with The Killers most recently. How has the experience been for you being on the road with the boys?

The Killers are one of our favourite bands. We toured together in 2005 and its a reunion of sorts for us! They blow our minds every single time. I truly admire and envy Brandon’s song writing, melodies and voice. He’s brilliant!

Can we expect a full headline tour in the near future?

Yes! We expect to be back in the UK in March.

After 17 years of being in the industry, what other artists are you really championing right now?

Currently, I feel a little out of the loop! I feel like I took a vacation from music and have just returned fresh and excited for everything! This year in particular I am loving Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Japandroids, Daphni, How To Dress Well, Deep Time… goes on and on and on…

Heartthrob comes out in January 29th. www.teganandsara.com

Words: Shane Hawkins