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Arkells and Tegan and Sara Share Origins of New Collaboration “Teenage Tears”: Exclusive

The single from Arkells' new album Blink Twice was inspired by high school, '90s shopping malls and more

Arkells Teenage Tears
Arkells and Tegan and Sara, photo by Lindsey Blane

    Origins is our recurring feature series that provides artists with a space to share the origins of their latest release. Today, Arkells and Tegan Quin take us through everything that went into the new Tegan and Sara collaboration “Teenage Tears,” from Arkells’ upcoming album Blink Twice.


    Canadian rock act Arkells return today (September 1st) with “Teenage Tears,” the latest single from their upcoming album Blink Twice (out September 23rd). The track, which sees the band connecting with Tegan and Sara for a dramatic tune that revels in the intensity of adolescent emotions, arrives alongside a video; get an exclusive first look below.

    “There’s a particular kind of intense emotional pain that reminds me of high school,” vocalist Max Kerman tells Consequence. “This song is about how occasionally you can still feel that kind of sadness as an adult. We were trying to do something that might feel somewhere between Olivia Rodrigo and The National or Bon Iver.”

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    Indeed, with vocal harmonies that sound at home on a Justin Vernon project and an earnest embrace of teenage melodrama à la “drivers license,” Arkells have somehow successfully crossed i,i and SOUR. Throw in contributions from the legendary Tegan and Sara and you have a recipe for a robust, unabashed song complete with sparse piano and swirling synths.

    However, Tegan and Sara, who Kerman describes as a longtime influence, were almost absent from the track. “Collaborating is something we love to do. But these days our schedules are chaotic, and so when Max reached out about collaborating on a song, I prepared him for a ‘no,'” Tegan Quin tells Consequence. Luckily, the raw emotionality of “Teenage Tears” encouraged the duo to find the time, and it all worked out. “Sara and I were won over after we heard it,” Quin adds.

    The song is all the better for it, as Tegan and Sara help craft a particularly somber tone that distinguishes itself from Blink Twice’s previous singles. It’s definitely one for the feels, emotionally thrusting listeners back into their high school bedroom.

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    Watch the mall-themed video for Arkells’ “Teenage Tears” below, followed by the Origins of the track and visual as explained by Max Kerman and Tegan Quin. Arkells are also on an international tour, for which you grab find tickets via Ticketmaster.


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