Tegan and Sara

Reduced to hard, cold factoids, Tegan and Sara sound like they were dreamed up by a focus group convened in an alternate-universe shopping-mall food court: two Canadian sisters, both lesbians, who play zippy folk-pop with careful harmonies out of the Indigo Girls songbook, clipped guitar strums cribbed from Elastica's first album and the kind of keyboard doodles commonly found in songs by Josie and the Pussycats (here provided by former Weezer/Rentals guy Matt Sharp). What's unexpectedly great about So Jealous, the duo's fourth studio album, is how breezily they circumnavigate the preciousness of their concept: Fresh-faced blasts of jumpy rhythm and spearmint melody like "You Wouldn't Like Me," "Take Me Anywhere" and "I Won't Be Left" sound as natural and intuitive as four straight white guys often do, with the added bonus that they're not four straight white guys. (This helps sell the tongue-in-cheek self-loathing the sisters occasionally indulge in, a possible aftereffect of listening to too much Juliana Hatfield.) The greater accomplishment? Not slowing things to a dead standstill on heavy-hearted minor-key ballads like "I Can't Take It" and "Downtown." Today, Sbarro; tomorrow, the world.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mikael Wood

Latest Stories