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Tegan and Sara :: My Favorite Artists/Bands

I was reminded recently of how much I love Tegan and Sara’s music when a friend/fellow blogger posted one of their songs. It got me thinking of some of my favorites of theirs, and how long I’ve been listening, and loving, their music, and just how many memories I have attached to some of those favorite songs. Sometimes artists and/or bands exist in my musical landscape, becoming integral parts of my memories, and I forget about them, or take them for granted.

They are still there, though, meaning something to me, unlocking people and places inside of me when I hear one of their songs again, taking me back as if through some form of time travel to who I was, where I was, and who I was with (or wanted to be with).

Tegan and Sara’s music hit me the hardest around 2008, when I first heard Where Did the Good Go, and started to pay attention to some of their other songs, and earlier albums. A crush I had at the time listened to their music often, and played Nineteen for me one night when we were sharing songs with each other over glasses of wine and cigarettes. I remember listening to the lyrics – FEELING the lyrics – and wishing that we would kiss before the song ended.

During the time we spent together I fell hard for so much of the music connected to the two of us. The album So Jealous became a shared favorite, and The Con became an musical obsession of mine. For awhile, after we parted ways, I couldn’t listen to any of their music without being reduced to a pool of tears. Certain songs can bring about so many feelings, sometimes before you are ready to feel them.

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Later, once my heart healed, I would introduce their music to a new lover, and we would “ooh and ahh” over their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. We would enjoy Sainthood together, as well as the songs I was Married and Back in Your Head, from The Con. I could never really listen to Nineteen though, and would make excuses to talk over it, or leave the room, when the album would wind up on track 10.

Dancing in the Dark (live) :: Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara are a Canadian pop duo formed in 1995 in Calgary, Alberta, composed of identical twin sisters Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin. Both musicians are songwriters and play guitar and keyboards.

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Tegan and Sara began playing guitar and writing songs at age 15, forming a band called Plunk without a drummer or bass player. In 1997, they used their school’s recording studio to record two demo albums: Who’s in Your Band? and Play Day. In 1998, they won Calgary’s “Garage Warz” competition, using the studio time they won to record their first professional demo, Yellow tape, which was followed by Orange tape and Red tape.

In 1999, they released their debut album Under Feet Like Ours independently under the name “Sara and Tegan“. Two songs from Red tape appeared on the album, and two from Orange tape. They later changed their name to “Tegan and Sara” because it was more memorable and their first album was later reprinted under the name Tegan and Sara.

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In 1999 they signed with Neil Young’s Vapor Records and they released This Business of Art through them in 2000. In 2002, the band released their third album If It Was You.

Their fourth album, So Jealous, was released in 2004 and led to wider success and attention, both locally and internationally. This album was released through both Vapor and Sanctuary. One track off the album, Walking with a Ghost, was covered by The White Stripes, who released it on their Walking with a Ghost EP.

Walking with a Ghost :: The White Stripes

Their 2007 album, The Con, was released by Vapor and Sire because Sanctuary chose to no longer release new music in the United States. The album was co-produced by Chris Walla. Jason McGerr of Death Cab for Cutie, Matt Sharp of The Rentals and previously Weezer, Hunter Burgan of AFI, and Kaki King all appeared and collaborated on the album.

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On October 27, 2009, Tegan and Sara released their sixth album Sainthood, produced by Chris Walla and Howard Redekopp. The duo also put out a three-volume book set titled ON, IN, AT, which is a collection of stories, essays, journals, and photos of the band on tour in America in the fall of 2008, writing together in New Orleans, and touring Australia. The photographs in the book are by Lindsey Byrnes and Ryan Russell.

The album Sainthood debuted on the Billboard top 200 albums at # 21 selling 24,000 copies in its first week. While recording Sainthood, Tegan and Sara spent a week writing songs together in New Orleans. The song Paperback Head came to light from that writing trip and appeared on the album, making it the first song on any Tegan and Sara album that they wrote together.

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In 2011, they launched 2011: A Merch Odyssey, which saw at least one new item in the official online stores every month, all year long. A live CD/DVD combination package titled Get Along was released on November 15 and contains three films titled States, India and For The Most Part. Get Along was nominated in the 2013 Grammy Awards for “Best Long Form Music Video”.

Tegan and Sara started recording their seventh studio album, Heartthrob, on February 20, 2012. Eight songs were produced by Greg Kurstin. Joey Waronker contributed drums to these songs. Two songs were produced by Mike Elizondo, with Victor Indrizzo contributing drums, Josh Lopez contributing guitar and Dave Palmer contributing piano.

The last two songs were produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen. The first single, Closer, was released on September 25, 2012. The album was released on January 29, 2013 and debuted on the Billboard top 200 at # 3, the band’s highest charting record to date, selling 49,000 copies in its first week.

Heartthrob debuted at # 2 on the Canadian chart, digital downloads chart and hit # 1 on the rock and alternative album charts. In July 2013, the album was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize. In March 2014 Tegan and Sara won three Juno Awards for Song of the Year, Pop Album of the Year and Group of the Year.

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Following are my Top Ten favorite Tegan and Sara. Will you share yours with me?

1. Nineteen (live)
from the album, The Con

“I was yours,
right?”

2. Superstar 
from the album, The Business of Art

“Take my heart while you’re at it why don’t you,
sign me up to sell me out.
I am my angel ’til death I do,
I saw my first angel,
and it was you.”

3. Where Does the Good Go?
from the album, So Jealous

“Look me in the eye and promise no love’s like our love.”

4. I Was Married
from the album, The Con

“And to my heart confusion rose against,
the muscles fought so long,
to control against the pull of,
one magnet to another magnet,
to another magnet.”

5. Call It Off
from the album, The Con

“Maybe I would have been something you’d be good at,
maybe you would have been something I’d be good at.
But now we’ll never know.”

6. You Went Away
from the album, If it was You

“You went away,
cos you said you couldn’t love me,
and I went away,
cos all I do is love you.”

7. Not With You (live)
from the album, The Business of Art

“Dressing bad is like loving you,
there is nothing I haven’t worn.”

8. Take Me Anywhere (live)
from the album, So Jealous

“Take me by the hand and tell me,
you would take me anywhere.”

9. The Cure (live)
from the album, Sainthood

“I know the world’s been mean to you,
I’ve got a cure,
hold tight.
I know the world’s not fair to you,
I’ve got a cure for it’s crimes.”

10. Back in Your Head
from the album, The Con

“I’m not unfaithful,
but I’ll stray.”

6 thoughts on “Tegan and Sara :: My Favorite Artists/Bands

  1. My roommate around 2003 played “My Number” connnnstannntly which was my introduction to Tegan & Sara but I didn’t start to appreciate them or explore their music on my own until I heard a couple of their songs during season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy, I admit. I got to see them play 5 years ago when they opened for Paramore and they were great and I wish I knew where the memory card was with photos because I might’ve record at least one song.
    I love that you wrote up a post for them with your favorite tracks. It makes me want to listen to each song.

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