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

Tegan Quin on "Now I'm All Messed Up" and "Shock to Your System."

Jan 25, 2013 Tegan and Sara 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. This is the fifth and final post in the series.

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

Today, we’re posting Tegan’s commentary on the album’s two final tracks, “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “Shock to Your System.”

“Now I’m All Messed Up”

This is probably, right now, my favorite song on the record. I’m calling it the sleeper hit of the winter, because as soon as we start playing that one live, even if we’re opening for other people, the whole audience immediately starts to pay attention in a completely different way. We were just in New York playing a headlining show, and when we started playing that song people cheered for, like, a full minute. I was like, “What’s happening right now? Why are people still clapping?” And Sara and I were wildly embarrassed because we weren’t in control of the situation. I just kept looking at Sara and she was like, “What’s going on?” It was this awkward moment, but Sara just fucking goes for it. I mean, it’s at the top of her range, so she’s just belting it out the entire time.

It’s a devastatingly dark song, but I think the production is just massive. Like I said, I think it’ll be a sleeper hit. It’s the longest song on the record, and I think people sort of overlooked it because it’s so long, but I think people are definitely connecting with it. That’s one to check out.

“Shock to Your System”

“Shock to Your System,” the album closer, is one of my favorite songs that Sara’s ever written. She was really influenced by [soundtracks] on this record, so she was, like, watching a lot of movies. Obviously, movie soundtracks have gotten better and better, and there have been lots of great movies with really good soundtracks. Specifically, though, Sara was really moved by Drive and its soundtrack, so “Shock to Your System” is sort of her attempt at emulating some of that very cinematic approach and writing to someone rather than about someone.


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