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Tegan & Sara Going Gritty on New Album

Rock duo Tegan & Sara are about a third of the way through work on its next album, which is being produced by Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla and recorded at his new studio in Portland, Ore. The as-yet-untitled set is expected later this year via Sanctuary.

“When they asked me to do this, it was last March or April,” Walla tells Billboard.com. “A long time ago now. I got the demos pretty shortly thereafter, and those were my favorite record of 2006. It’s kind of crazy revisiting all the songs after living with the demos for so long.”

Part of the delay in getting the sessions underway was down to Walla, who didn’t want to begin work until the studio met his exacting specifications. “But all that time has really paid off,” he says. “The studio seems super functional and is doing the things I always grumble when studios don’t do. You can do anything at any moment.”

That said, Walla is hoping to push Tegan & Sara into new territory on the album, the follow-up to 2004’s “So Jealous.” “One of the things they were really emphatic about when we started talking about it was using as much of the demo process as possible,” he says. “They wanted something that was a little bit grittier. I guess there’s like three or four songs we pretty much built on the demos, and three or four more where we’ve pulled elements from them. The rest, we started from scratch on.” Look for the group to play some shows this spring once recording is finished.

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