Track-by-Track: Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob Part Four | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Track-by-Track: Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob Part Four

Tegan Quin on "I Couldn't Be Your Friend" and "Love They Say"

Jan 24, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For our new feature Track-by-Track we go in-depth with an artist about each song on their new album. This week we are featuring Tegan and Sara‘s Heartthrob and each day this week we’ll post commentary by Tegan Quin on two of the album’s songs.

Heartthrob, the seventh studio album from Tegan and Sara, comes out next week, on January 29th. For their newest record, the twin sisters (Tegan and Sara Quin) sent demos to a variety of producers as a way of choosing which ones they would collaborate with on the album. Based on their reactions to the songs, Tegan and Sara narrowed the selection down to producers Greg Kurstin, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and Mike Elizondo, and the resulting Heartthrob is easily their slickest, poppiest record yet.

In advance of its release, Tegan Quin walked Under the Radar through all 10 tracks of the new album with a full behind-the-scenes commentary on each song’s approach, inspiration, and production techniques. Please continue to check back throughout the week as we post Tegan’s notes on the full album.

On Monday we featured “Closer” and “Goodbye, Goodbye,” Tuesday we featured “I Was a Fool” and “I’m Not Your Hero,” and yesterday we focused on “Drove Me Wild” and “How Come You Don’t Want Me.”

Today, we’re posting Tegan’s commentary on “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” and “Love They Say.”

“I Couldn’t Be Your Friend”

Tegan Quin: This was a track that was originally a completely different song. We have a big panel of people whose advice we’ll consider on songs, like my mom, and our producer, and our manager, our A&R friends, and music collaborators, and this was a song that nobody had originally picked except for our A&R and our art director, Emy [Storey]. They both really liked just one specific part of it, which happened to be the chorus in the original version. This was, like, a re-do. I just become obsessed with the idea that I could make it a better song, so I’m really excited that it made the record.

Sara co-wrote the chorus with me on it, and it’s definitely one of the really poppy ones on the record. I think that the [idea] behind it is really dark and depressing, too, which is exciting because it is so poppy. I like the juxtaposition of really depressing lyrics with a really poppy, bright production.

“Love They Say”

“Love They Say” is a co-produced track with Greg Kurstin and Rob Cavallo. It was originally written even before we started working on this record, for a soundtrack. So originally, I’d been writing it with a different objective. They’d requested a love song, and I was like, “How the fuck do you write a love song?”

So I listened to, like, 40 different love songs, and every single one of them was the same! It was all like, “love is blind!” and “love can heal all wounds!” So I started writing down all of the different messages from each love song, and those ended up making up the lyrics to the song. So, love is blind. Love heals all wounds. Love makes us stronger. I was sort of making fun of love, but in the end I was thinking, “Oh my god! That’s really how we feel about love!”

So, that’s how that one came about. Sara also wrote the bridge on that one.

(Check back tomorrow for commentary on “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “Shock to Your System.”)


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