When Tegan and Sara showed up Tuesday as Taylor Swift's surprise guests to sing "Closer" at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Calgary twins had friends in the audience. "I was like, 'Be prepared. We pop out of the stage,'" Tegan Quin tells Rolling Stone with a laugh. Afterwards, she asked them in a text: "Was it a lot to see me jump up and down with 15,000 teenagers?"
If some of Tegan and Sara's hardcore fans were surprised (or alarmed) by their one-song collaboration with the multiplatinum pop princess, it was a comfortable fit for the Quins. Their latest album, Heartthrob, shows them evolving from indie singer-songwriter mode to something closer to pure, danceable pop, including the Top 40 single "Closer."
The day after appearing with Swift onstage, Tegan spoke with Rolling Stone about their visit to the massive arena production, and their shared commitment to bringing genuine feeling to pop music. "We always say we're emo — that's our genre," says Tegan. "And I think Taylor's emo. She talks about her feelings. She doesn't pretend or hide who she is or how she feels about things. We have that in common."
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