As Tegan Quin told SPIN back in April, when she and sister Sara began work on their seventh album, Heartthrob, they realized that “It was time to shake things up.” And sure enough, as we’ve watched the evolution of their first new single “Closer” — from stripped-down live demo to compact synthpop dynamo to Letterman-crushing triumph — it’s become clear that Tegan and Sara are indeed readying some of their most accessible and interesting material in years. Heartthrob, the Canadian duo’s first long-player since 2009’s Sainthood, isn’t due out until January 29, but we’ve got the official video for “Closer,” which expands upon the song’s happy vibes and corporeal themes by placing the twins in the midst of a very ’90s-feeling house party. For insight on the Isaac Rentz-directed clip, we got the scoop from Sara Quin herself:
One word: Spanx.
When we were growing up in the 1990s, Tegan and I loved to raid my stepdad’s closet for his baggy jeans. I’m talking size 34 to 36 waist, and long enough to be normal for a man standing 6 feet, 4 inches tall. To describe our look as “grunge” or “baggy” or “teenage runaway” is generous and really barely scratching the surface. We thrived during that decade, soaking up the music and subsequent culture and aesthetic that accompanied it. Our friends were our world and we lived for the weekend when we would congregate in living rooms, basements and, sometimes, random abandoned fields where we would dance and laugh and partake in the standard teenage behaviors one associates with people who congregate in fields. It was a special time that we look back on with irrational sentimental fondness.
The hope with this video was to capture some of the youthful naïveté present during those years, before death and taxes and weird arthritic aches in joints (I am getting so old). The treatment was inspired by our childhood friends, the still remarkable television show My So-Called Life and, most importantly, our love of karaoke. Truth be told, we needed a way to interact with the kids in this video that didn’t make us seem like we were channeling Wooderson from Dazed and Confused. Google it. You’re asking yourself, “But what about Spanx?” All those baggy clothes and gender-neutral aesthetics have somehow managed to keep the wondrous invention of Spanx a secret from us. That is until this video shoot. Sheer polka-dot tights need a companion, and Spanx were there to keep me from turning this good times video into an R-rated spectacle (see: trampoline scene).