Rhythm & Views

Tegan and Sara

The most fascinating thing about Tegan and Sara is not that they're identical twins, or gay, or anything of "interest" like that. It's that they don't actually write their songs together--they write separately, from their homes in separate cities, and then mess with each other's work.

You'd think that if two very talented and unique songwriters work separately and then combine efforts, it'd be a mess, but The Con pulses with a vibrancy that is the direct result of combined creative work. The Con, Tegan and Sara's fifth full-length album (co-produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla) is a short but epic sprawl of electronic pop that blends together seamlessly, like a range of dissimilar mountains. And what creates this wonderful sense of jagged integrity is Tegan and Sara's ability to edit and revise each other's songs so that each song maintains and enhances its essence.

"Back in Your Head" has a wonderfully simple keyboard melody that, up against the chorus, is nothing short of brilliant, and remembers when indie bands resurrected $30 Casio keyboards from the thrift store. The guitar melody on "Hop a Plane" does its dirty work in less than two minutes to remind us of the short and solo-free rock revolution. In short, the songs worthy of emphatic description on The Con are too numerous for this tiny stretch of words.