Tegan And Sarah - Now I'm All Messed Up

Tegan & Sara initially wrote “Now I’m All Messed Up” for their forthcoming album Heartthrob as a piano ballad. But when it came time to record, their producer Greg Kersten helped the Quin sisters finesse it into something more epic. What could have been a tear-jerker now feels like a song of heartbreak-empowerment. Check it out below along with a video of Tegan & Sara delving into their writing process and some official promotional .gifs of the duo courtesy of Mr. Gif.

Tegan And Sara - Now I'm All Messed Up
Tegan And Sara - Now I'm All Messed Up

Comments (43)
  1. I’m gonna go ahead and say that I’m far more excited for this album than I thought I was going to be.

    • I agree with scruffy. I knew I was excited but their evolution has been amazing on the
      songs that have been released so far.

      I had no idea what to expect with this one and I am very pleased! This is like a strange mashup of Ace of Base / No Doubt / and Toni Braxton 90s midtempos with a very modern and very T&G spin.

      • Ding, ding, ding, you hit the nail on the head, I could totally picture hearing this song in an late eighties early nineties drama, where the character has sum obstacle to overcome N this song is playing in the background; leaves you thinking will they pull through or fall short?

        I like it!

  2. Not impressed. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate comments from this, but I have been a fan since 2001 (since before basically anyone knew about them). I’m used to their sound changing dramatically, but throughout they’ve been exciting and had special voices that draw you in. Now they’ve gone so generic that their voices aren’t even recognizable anymore. I think this is way too much of a departure from their other work. I guess that was their point. I guess they want all the fame, but it just doesn’t impress me.

    • Honestly, I think from album to album, they’ve had a pretty clear path. This doesn’t feel like such a departure from Sainthood (Alligator? Paperback Head?) to me. They started out as a folk-based acoustic band, sure, but they’ve always had pop elements, and seem to always just do whatever the hell they wanted to do, musically. Anyway, I like the new songs. Very excited.

    • Oh god, “I’ve been a fan since 2001, y’know, like, since before anyone knew about them so I’m, like, y’know blahblahblah something about something being generic blahblahblah more T&S hipster fan tears.” Unfortunately, if you feel that they’ve gone too “far” into a style of music that isn’t to your liking, then, sorry, but oh well. Many of us, who have been fans “since before basically anyone knew about them,” are pleased with the new music. I’m sure T&S can spare to lose some fans (if that’s where you’re eventually going to end up, seeing as how it seems like the ever-evolving T&S is here to stay). Their voices are still special, and still very much recognizable and T&S sounding, so uh, I disagree. No one sounds like them. I agree with Alex, Sainthood alluded to this direction they were going in. They haven’t disappointed me with an album thus far.

    • Its funny because as fans we should want them to be successful. How amazing is it that our girls are finally getting the recognition they deserve. When they started making albums at 19 they were completely different people then they are now. Its an evolution of two amazing women. And that doesn’t mean you should still be a fan, but you should respect them for the artists they are and not be upset because “they want all the fame”. Good for them for wanting to be famous. They deserve it. And if they ever win a Grammy, those fans who have been there from the start should be proud.

      • there is nothing wrong with being famous as long as you EARN it by taking risks and creating good quality music. .and by the way, they have been famous for a very long time already…its not like they are just being discovered

    • @ Hannah i couldn’t have said it better myself. we want them to be the best kept secret and often forget that we too had to “discover” them during one of their albums. As a long time fan you can sometimes get a little selfish and want them to stay underground folk, new age folk, combo folk and rock, rock, rock pop, and then a little poppier rock with synth…now they are pop and synth. You probably didn’t care for the start of the other albums either because it wasn’t like the albums of old. It will grow on you and the next album you will be saying the same thing “i was there from the beginning and this new stuff sucks”. They are Tegan and Sara singer song writer producers who do what they want. They write there own songs, they produce their songs (with the help of others), the are open to new ideas but essentially still have the last say in the matter. This is what they wrote and how they want it presented. So when people who say they are or were fans take nasty little pot shots at TnS they are saying we hate your skill even though we liked it before. Let them be discovered by others and just be happy for them.

  3. I’ve never cared for them, but I like the direction they’re going in based on the two singles released so far. If I like this album enough, I may need to reassess their prior output.

  4. OK, PERSONALLY I am a little bit disappointed in this one. “Now I’m All Messed Up” is one of my FAVORITES from the new record. I ADORE the live version and was looking forward to the studio version. Unfortunately, I feel like it still sounds like it’s in a demo phase. I want it to sound harder hitting and her vocals to be a little angrier. Her vocals seem to sound a little too spacey or hollow. I’m a musician as well and that’s just one thing I would’ve told my producer to change. I think it’s just a production thing…but like she said, she wanted it to just be a kinda bare piano ballad. But this song is TOO good and has TOO much potential to just be that. I think this is good but just needs to be turned up ONE more notch. I too have been a fan FOREVER and loved EVERY song they’ve ever put out. Seen them 7 times and met them. LIVE it is AMAZING. Worth a listen. Watch on YouTube and compare. ♥

    • I completely agree with you. This was “the one” when I saw it live. I thought the studio version would just hit you to the core like it did live, but this version doesn’t quite have the same effect. Still an amazing song, but I just know it has SO much more potential!

    • IA. I loved this song so much live but I’m not too impressed with the vocals, especially the “go” part of the chorus. Doesn’t sound powerful enough to me. Ah well.

    • I totally agree!! I cried when I heard this live and was so excited to hear the studio version..Such an amazing song, but I’m not crazy about how it sounds on the record.

  5. Sara’s done it again. Best song on the album almost certainly.

  6. well, i’ll definetly preorder this album, even if it costs me 50€. i think it’s worth it. and the song’s great. go t&s!!

  7. I adore all these songs that have been coming out for this album, Tegan and Sara never disappoint me. And I think the style they are going is refeshing. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album, and see them in two weeks :D

  8. In my opinion this is definitely one of their best albums and those people who are saying they have been fans for a long time shouldn’t care how they are changing if they are true Tegan and Sara fans..they should just support what they are doing and shut up. Personally I am beyond impressed with the album and with everything these women have been doing..and the Grammy nomination is well deserved. I can’t wait for the show the day before the release, my heartthrob order to get here so I can listen to it over and over..they have and will always be the ONLY music I ever listen to. Great job Tegan and Sara!!

    • Complete and utter nonsense. The very reason people care is BECAUSE WE ARE FANS. If we weren’t fans, their change in direction would not matter. And change is fine. If you actually process the comments people are posting, rather than making a kneejerk reaction, you would notice that nobody is saying, ‘don’t change!’ What we’re saying is that the music just isn’t very good. If they had teased three of the best pop songs I’d ever heard I’d be jumping up and down singing their praises. But the songs they’ve released thus far are limp, uninspired, overproduced and without feeling or emotion. And the feeling and emotion is what used to make them bad ass, no matter what kind of music they were releasing.

      So you shut up! I’m going to take my Tegan & Sara and go home! lol

      (Shut up? Is that really what you have to say? People should “shut up”? I thought T&S’s fan base had moved past the fourth grade.)

      • I actually agree with Cerebus here. I actually despise the notion that you must support a band forever, even if they start making music that you don’t like. That’s stupid. I think the new songs are good, if not quite up to the song they were making at their prime, but if I hated the new songs, it would be stupid to say, “Hey, I’ve been a fan for 10 years, I HAVE TO like it.”

  9. “over produced” is a lazy way to say “I don’t like music without acoustic guitars”. This is not over produced, the vocals are front and center here and work well with the synth sound which is clearly the sound they’re going for. Nothing is overpowering anything. So far what I’ve heard from this album is miles better than anything from “Sainthood”. I can’t wait! But yeah…stop using “over produced” when you just don’t know what to say.

    • It is over produced and your made up meaning is incorrect. An acoustic guitar ballad could be over produced. Over produced in this case is the eighteen layers of vocals, reverb on the drum track, ten tracks of shiny keyboard parts, everything polished to a bright and shiny finish. In other words, mainstream pop music. Which really is fine if it’s done well. And truthfully, I think this is the best of the three songs I’ve heard thus far. But it sounds like a track that could come from any number of the women who currently inhabit top 40 radio, not like Tegan & Sara. I can even imagine this song done like Tegan & Sara, and I think it would kick ass.

      And again, for the record, I AM a fan. And I respect their need to try something different. But I don’t have to like it. Free will and all that, ya know?

      • You’re correct, you don’t have to like it.

        And I’m not sure what pop music you’re listening to, but none of the current top pop females have ANYTHING that sounds like this, and Greg Kurstin has production on a bunch of their records. Name me one Rihanna/Beyonce/Gaga/Katy Perry/Kesha/Britney/Pink/Kelly Clarkson song that sounds like this.

        This song is in no way over produced either. Actually for a pop song, this has very stark production in a lot of parts.

        • dude, their voices are always going to put them a cut above the rest…Cerebus is simply talking as someone who is comparing their past records with the current one in terms of quality. There first four records were all different from each other but each one was well thought out and it was obvious alot of effort was made into creating each one of those….Its also obvious that in comparison, the songs heard thus far from Heartthrob are boring and lack emotion..they are synthetic and dont have much original quality. This song is better then the other three I have heard but still..its clear Tegan and Sara are going through musician burn out and are just going through the emotions and trying to make as much cash as possible..hence, their pencil sets and necklaces and all else….also they have not made a album since 2009…just more documentaries they can sell from pre-exisisting songs

          • LOL “.its clear Tegan and Sara are going through musician burn out and are just going through the emotions and trying to make as much cash as possible”

            Nice try.

            I happen to own ALL of Tegan & Sara’s albums and have been a fan for 12 years yet I’m a huge mainstream pop fan. Don’t lecture at me like I don’t know their back catalog. I’ve said for years that they have the potential to do some GREAT pop work, and they are doing it.

            Also, I had CHILLS listening to “I Was A Fool” for the first time, and major pop blogs are LOVING this new work. In fact, a huge pop authority PopJustice in the UK named I Was A Fool their big song of the week and have been obsessed with it.

            Sure you can SAY they are “boring and lack emotion”, but a lot of people have been having quite the opposite reaction and to a large degree. I guess you can try to ruin the fun for T&G and everyone else but I suggest you just let it go at this point. You’ll be happier.

  10. Ian Cohen is going to have a blast with this album.

  11. Everything I needed to say was said over here…


    • I think you made a pretty fair assessment about their direction on this album, despite it being an unpopular opinion with their loyalists. Tegan and Sara have been walking a fine line between being “indie” darlings and being a band that has the potential for big mainstream success for quite some time now. I loved “Closer,” and the seemed unafraid to embrace the latter with a big, glossy single, but the rest of these tracks we’ve heard only flirt with that. My opinion is go big or go home if you’re going to mettle with that. Because they don’t, they’re not poppy enough to be a great pop songs nor are they interesting or crafted well enough to be big upped for their songwriting mastery. I would have liked to hear an album full of “Closer”s, even if the pop was more deliberate, because at this stage in their career, that would be a larger risk to elevate them into the next level.

    • Cerebus, you are simply awesome and clearly have a discerning taste when it comes to music…I think a interesting phenomena that has happened with their fan base is you have alot of lesbians who just like tegan and sara simply because they are also lesbians without objectively hearing the quality of music being produced…which is really sad…I agree with as well that out of all four songs I heard, this one is my favorite so far…having said that, my issue with the band is that I think they could have put alot more effort into tweaking the songs and making them more original and fresh as opposed to creating all this media hype and pencil cases and whatnot as a way to market themselves…I mean hey I get that they want to cash in and all the power to them….but at the same time, they could have put some more effort and thought into how they executed these songs rather then leaving them so basic and predictable…perhaps they are just suffering from burn out being music artists….i mean i was just watching “its not fun, dont do it” the other night and comparing that to now….there is no soul in even their perfomances now….they dont have that fresh edge anymore….they literally look too old to be doing this even though they are still young…Cerebus, good for you for standing up to your beliefs and I am so with you…lol.

  12. This is the most impressive of the new tracks I’ve heard; I really do like the pseudo-Prince feel of it.

    That being said, it’s the first new song I’ve heard from that I can stand to sit through at all. While “Sainthood” did have stuff like “Alligator” that is more electronic and pop-oriented and can’t imagine obvious the next step is to work with Kelly Clarkson’s producer. Greg Kurstin is a hack, and there are hundreds of other, more relevant, more talented producers who probably could have turned this record out in a major way, if they wanted to go in the electro-pop direction. Over all I’m very disappointed in what I’ve heard of this record so far. Hopefully when it comes out at the end of the month, I’ll be proven wrong and it will be as great as the last three records, but I’m not going to hold my breath for it.

  13. This song is amazing. wow… i am so excited for the new album… I have been a long time fan… I got under feet like ours at an outdoor show when they dressed like ravers. That is how i discovered them actually and I became addicted. I have always found at least a few songs that i loved on every album, but have always loved their acoustic sound most… i love that they still make acoustic versions of so many of their songs and play acoustic shows.

    They are a good band. A lot of their sound is production and production / sound changes for all musicians who are in the industry for as long as they have been… they have worked with so many people, met so many people and been influenced by so many people, as well as time and their own personal development as musicians. RAW- they are still fundamentally true to their own sound, I think…. but their presentation fluctuates and evolves, naturally as all things do. I like this new Heartthrob sound… they have evolved once again as musicians….

  14. why do people even bother posting to complain they dont like their own favourite band. why dont you just pick a new favourite band and let tegan and sara be tegan and sara. they are successful for being who they are as musicians not providing a customer service.

  15. listening to it for the 4th time now, just pre-ordered the album on iTunes with my last little $13 bux on my CC …. oh the joys of spending your last little dig in the whole on music :)

  16. well PAUL SYNDER since you would not allow me to reply to your last comment as there was no reply button i guess i will have to make a new comment…this has nothing to do with happiness or sadness..its not personal..i dont have ill will towards tegan and sara and I actually would have wanted to see them do good..they are obviously smart, praise urban music and “minority” artists which is desperately needed as there is so much talent out there that is not white male..lol…, they have great taste in books, and i think there first four albums were flawless and full of raw energy that was so unique…..in fact, i dont even listen to music much at all nowadays but still keep an eye on what this band is up to….and lets face it, there are six songs left to hear from hearthrob…not that I ordered a copy but i am sure i will hear them on the net..and if they are good awesome pop songs full of that unique genuinely raw tegan and sara energy then great…..and i dont think my opinion will is going to “ruin” anything as you so seem to they are my intentions…

    However, the way Tegan and Sara present themselves now and the music I have heard as of late convey’s dispassion…they seem pretentious and jaded to ME and its strange that the musical CONTENT of a couple of intelligent thirtysomething’s has not evolved past love songs to other things that are important in this world ….I see a band that wants to get main stream and cash in on the success without being genuine…it all seems so clinical and plastic. ..

    Having said all that Paul, and on a positive note, I am happy that i discovered stereogum and like minded people on here…its great that there is a forum for people to discuss things like this..i love that!

    p.s. jezebel….umm they are in customer service…we are PAYING them money when we buy their albums and go to their shows….

    • What I want to know is how Jezebel gets away with flashing her tits all over her Facebook profile and in turn, here on the comment section.

      • (Not that I’m complaining… Go girl! It’s just that I’ve heard about people’s content from facebook being removed for the most smallest things, like making sex jokes.)

  17. The simple fact is that they are taking their music careers down a slightly different path, and they are happy – nay, delighted – with the music they are producing. For those of you who are digging this evolution, I’ll see you at a gig ;) But if you don’t like the new music, that’s perfectly fine too – just listen to their previous records! And also, respectful criticism of their work is just as valid as praise. That’s what the comments are here for. Discussion :)
    One of T&S’s strengths lie in the loyalty of their fans, so I hope everyone gets behind them and embraces what is set to be their most mainstream album yet.

  18. Three word review: it is shit.

  19. Songs aside, they filmed this interview at my FAVORITE ROLLER RINK.

  20. I agree with you.

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