Tegan and Sara have always been background music for staring wistfully out a coffeeshop window, in a strange city, alone, hung over and/or going on no sleep, wondering what the fuck went wrong. Their sixth record reminds me quite a bit of that Metric album that came out last spring. You could put this reaction down to Sainthood’s understated, idiosyncratic electronic elements, or to the whole Canadian elevated-indie-pop thing.
Despite early word that the new album would represent the duo’s first-ever effort writing as a team, the end product — says their record company — is all separately written songs with the possible exception of one. There aren’t really any of their signature weepy acoustic laments.
Although every song, like every other Tegan and Sara song, is about fucked-up romance, the subject is approached from the perspective of twin sisters (probably) getting smashed in New Orleans (where they sequestered themselves to work on Sainthood). So instead of lonesome, maudlin weeping into a half-empty glass, we get a buzzing emotional and sonic spectrum ranging from anxiety on “Don’t Rush” to optimism on “Someday” and full-blown ass kicking on “Northshore.”