Cool Canadian singing sisters 

Tegan and Sara stopping by the GLC


Who: Tegan and Sara with Lindy

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC)

When: Friday, Feb. 4

Tickets: $20

Thank your lucky stars. The coolest twins on the planet are coming to Whistler tomorrow night.

No, no, no. Not the stick-figured, tabloid-harangued, Wal-Mart-shilling Full House alumni. Much, much cooler than that.

It’s Canadian singers/songwriters, identical twin sisters Tegan Quin and Sara Quin, a.k.a. Tegan and Sara, who are returning to Whistler for a show at the GLC. And local fans of the quirky duo would be wise to catch them while they can.

The duo’s latest album, released last September, is proving to be their breakout recording. After slogging it out (albeit gleefully) in the indie rock trenches for a core of dedicated Canadian fans for the past six years, it seems the 24-year-old twins are now turning some major heads.

In December Rolling Stone magazine editors declared their fourth studio album one of the top 50 of 2004, deeming it, "a taut little New Wave snack." They’ve been playing gigs to 800 or so people in New York City, and are on the roster for two ultra-cool upcoming music extravaganzas in the U.S. – California’s Coachella festival and Austin, Texas’s SXSW. Plus they’re currently sorting through offers to play at some of the summer’s biggest music festivals in the U.K. If things keep going along this path, shows as intimate in size and scope as the GLC are going to become harder and harder to come by.

So Jealous?

That would be the name of said album. Self-produced with the help of John Collins, David Carwell and Howard Redekopp of the New Pornographers and recorded in Vancouver, So Jealous also features a cool collaboration by The Rentals’ Matt Sharp, a former member of Weezer.

The response, at least according to one half of the duo, has been somewhat unexpected.

"I actually felt kind of nervous about this record," Sara says from Montreal. "When it was done I actually had no idea if it was good or not."

Post production, if she wanted to discuss the album with Tegan she had to get on the horn and call long distance. Just because they’re twins doesn’t mean they sleep in the same room in matching single beds with a T and an S engraved on the headboards. The fiercely independent artists don’t even live in the same city. Tegan makes her home in Vancouver and Sara in Montreal.

It’s been like that for the past two years Sara says, and the situation seems to suit them just fine. They’ve always been independent in their song writing, not the type of players that like to jam together, preferring to work things out on their own. By the time they reunite to record, Sara says, they’re both at their "creative peak."

To conceive of an album as tight and art-school cool as So Jealous across the endless expanse of the Canadian prairie requires an uncanny connection. The "twin thing" is undeniably compelling. Although, Sara explains, sometimes the twin thing threatens to overshadow the music thing. And for serious singers/songwriters, it’s understandable, but definitely frustrating at times.

"There is something that’s a little bit challenging to take seriously initially when you read someone’s bio and it’s like, ‘okay, so they’re twins, and they’re girls, and they’re cute, and they’re this, and they’re that’," Sara muses. "It’s tough because you know those are the things that make you up and you don’t feel ashamed of them. So when other people use them against you you’re kind of like, ‘well what the f*** are we supposed to do, lie about it?’"

No. Don’t lie. You’re twins. Your fans know it and they love you for it, but mostly they love your tangy-voiced guitar and keyboard-driven songs that tingle under your toenails for days.

Those that can’t get past the twin novelty thing are probably just jealous. So Jealous.

Tegan and Sara play the GLC Friday, Feb. 4. Toronto-based solo artist Lindy plays an opening set. Tickets are $20. For more information call the club at 604-905-2220.


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