Tegan and Sara have, at least to some extent, shaken the crippling depression evident on 2007’s (at times beautiful) The Con. Although the minds of the twin dykons remain melancholy, Sainthood displays the peppily-trudging-through-the-most-hopeless-parts-of-life sentiment that made their earlier work so stunning (and almost Moz-ian). Although far from touching the brilliance of 2002’s If It Was You and 2004’s So Jealous, their latest contains that lovely contradiction of upbeat popisms underscoring a modern brand of dejection.
Sainthood also has the sisters reaching a new level of maturity in songwriting. Their most carefully-crafted album yet, it includes no punk-inspired outbursts of juvenility (for better or worse). The girls also find themselves confidently adding layers of sounds (most notably an abundance of keyboards) to their, at one time, minimalist tone. Listening to the synthetic echoes of “Don’t Rush” and “Night Watch” it’s hard to believe that they ever found themselves in world of “singer/songwriters.”
The album best proves its worth as it culminates with tracks like “The Ocean,” “Sentimental Tune,” and “Someday,” which embody all the passion the Quin girls have ever managed to muster up, channeled through their newfound level of musicality. It it, however, track 7, “Northshore,” that proves to be Sainthood’s most impressive track. More sonically epic and abrasive than anything they’ve ever recorded, the track will surely jar every body in the mega halls the duo is now selling out. – Izzy Cihak