Tegan and Sara Quin's seventh album, "Heartthrob," released earlier this year, is a departure from the self-deprecating indie rock that characterized the Canadian twins' earlier albums.
"My biggest fear is to plateau in this band," says Sara, during a telephone interview from Tahoe, Calif. "We have always been moving upwards ... so we were really trying hard to approach this album like we were a brand-new band starting from scratch.
Who: Tegan and Sara
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30
Where: Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville
Tickets: $49 for reserved and standing room only, $39 for lawn, and $28 for ages 12 and younger
Call: 541-773-6077 or see www.brittfest.org
"We went in and made a record with a producer who is more of a pop producer, and the record sounds more pop with more of an emphasis on layers, guitars, keyboards and programming, but everything else remains unchanged. We are still the same people. We are just learning to use the tools a little differently."
Longtime fans won't be disappointed in the pop album, even if it is more mainstream. Lyrically, "Heartthrob" is confident, fresh and philosophical, but it also is consistent with Tegan and Sara's signature style, featuring confessional and retrospective songs about relationships, love, pain and self-esteem.
The album peaked at No. 3 on Billboard 200, and the radio-friendly, "make-out" track, "Closer," was featured on "Glee" and performed on stage with Taylor Swift and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Typically, Tegan, who hails from Vancouver, B.C., and Sara, who hails from Montreal, prefer to write in solitude, but this time around, there was more collaboration. In the studio, the sisters loosened their grip on their arrangements and let producers Greg Kurstin, Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Mike Elizondo work their magic.
"No one will confuse this with any of our other records," says Sara in a news release. "It's got a bigger, bolder and happier sound."
Tegan and Sara will spend the next 14 to 16 months touring behind the album. This fall, they head to Europe and then to Southeast Asia, but before that, the duo will perform Friday, Aug. 30, at the Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville. Singer, songwriter and spoken-word artist Mary Lambert will open the show at 7:30 p.m. Folk- and surf-rock group Wesley Jensen & The Banquet will play at 6 p.m. on the Table Rock City Stage.
Tickets cost $49 for reserved seating; $49 for standing room only; $39 for lawn seating; and $28 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at www.brittfest.org, at the box office, 216 W. Main St., Medford, or by calling 541-773-6077.