When: Fri., Dec. 21, 8 p.m. 2012
I once had the gall to naysay Tegan and Sara Quin's 2004 album So Jealous, despite the wicked hooks, uncanny vocal harmonies, and jaded-yet-playful lyrics of the twin sisters' sentimental, emo-tinged indie pop—as good as that record was, it was painfully adept at summoning a dark, entangling nostalgia for a long-doomed relationship. And, well, to hell with 'em for giving me that brain tattoo. But as Tegan & Sara moved from their breakthrough album, 2007's The Con, to 2010's Sainthood, in the process polishing their sound and abandoning acoustic coffee-shop folksiness for glittery waves of synth, the one thing that didn't change was their keen ability to imagine the impending heartbreaks of their fans—they can still write lyrics that make you want to sit in your car alone in an empty parking lot, preferably while it's raining. The upcoming Heartthrob (out 1/29 on Sire) has the brightest pop luster yet, something like crossing an album by a female-fronted Phoenix with a well-curated soundtrack for an episode of The O.C.—and it's also worth mentioning that a recurring vocal melody on "I Was a Fool" is the spitting image of Dido's "Thank You." But it's hard to forget what Tegan & Sara do best: on "Shock to Your System" the sisters proclaim, "What you are is lonely," and you remember that you're feeling wretched and depressed. —Kevin Warwick The Killers headline.