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Review: Tegan & Sara

What can I say, I’m a fan of Canada. I even have a hoody (one that should have been tossed maybe a year ago due to holes and a cigarette smell that won’t unlatch its self from the faded navy blue cotton) that has “CANADA” front and center to show my support. If I wanted to express my patriotism in another, maybe more symbolic, way I would wear a Tegan & Sara shirt. The identical twins come from Calgary, Alberta, and less than ten years after their first EP, have made a home for themselves in nearly any city they tour in. The latest album, “The Con”, is their fifth work and is brilliantly flavored with hints of new-wave synths, psychedelic pop, at times a lo-fi garage sound, and is topped off with a fluid coalescing of their thin, ethereal, yet soul-touching voices.

“The Con” is avant-garde in that the female-duo’s lyrics do not fall to the stereotypical emocore of so many female artists in nearly every sector of the indie scene. Nor do they dress up their emotions with flowery expressionism; it’s anti-Romanticism all the while being completely romantic in their sincerity about the never-balanced-scales of relationships throughout life. When I listened to “Like O, Like H” and heard “When I was 8 // I was sure I was growing nerves // Like steel in my palm // Make a map of what you see // Direct pain effectively” I couldn’t help but think, “How in the world did she read my mind like that?!” I usually try to make connections between artists, but after listening to “The Con” at least a dozen times nothing comes to mind. This is a totally new sound for me that is bound to become familiar with the “repeat” button.

The twins have been nominated for Alternative Album of the Year for the 2008 Juno Awards. Tegan and Sara were nominated in the previous two Juno Awards as well only to be trumped by other contenders. With this album, though, I just don’t see how anyone can con voters out for voting “The Con” as the best gosh-darn Alternative Album of the year.

-Mr. Green