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Music / Tegan & Sara

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Tegan and Sara are an Indie Pop / Rock / Synth Pop band hailing from Alberta, Canada, led by identical twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin.

The twins began as musicians at about age fifteen, writing songs and playing guitar, and were able to record a few demo albums throughout their late teens, culminating in their first whole album Under Feet Like Ours, released independently in 1999, and they were placed on the figurative scene with their signing on by Vapor Records and the release of their second album, This Business of Art, the next year.

They'd prove to gain popularity two albums later (after If It Was You, starting with So Jealous,) and have come out with another six albums since then (The Con, Sainthood, Heartthrob, Love You To Death, Hey, I'm Just Like You, and Crybaby).

The two live and songwrite separately, each sister usually writing the music, and singing the melody to her own songs, which often results in their albums being interestingly divided stylistically in music and lyrics. In addition to their music, they're known among fans for their concert banter; approachable, likable, and very "real" personas; and, to a level, the fact that they're both lesbians.

In 2019 they wrote a biography about growing up queer in the 90s in Calgary entitled High School which was adapted into a a tv show by Amazon in 2022. Both sisters have married other women, and Sara gave birth to her first baby in August 2022 with her wife.

  • Tegan and Sara Quin - Vocals, guitar, keyboard
  • Brendan Buckley - Drums
  • Gabrial Mcnair - Keyboards
  • Eva Gardner - Bass


  • Under Feet Like Ours (1999)
  • This Business of Art (2000)
  • If It Was You (2002)
  • So Jealous (2004)
  • The Con (2007)
  • Sainthood (2009)
  • Heartthrob (2013)
  • Love You To Death (2016)
  • Hey, I'm Just Like You (2019)
  • Crybaby (2022)

These musicians provide examples of:

  • The All-Concealing "I": Most of their songs are written from the first person perspective and rarely use any gender specific pronouns or language. So the relationships described in the songs can be read as straight or gay depending on the listener's preference. One interesting exception is "My Number", a Tegan song from This Business of Art, which uses both "he" and "you"… in the context of not sharing someone's romantic feelings and dealing with difficult and complicated emotions around that. What's more, Tegan has said the song was written about a love triangle situation, so the "he" and "you" may refer to two different people, with the latter being a woman.
  • Break-Up Song: A few various ones. They'd include "Not With You," "You Went Away," "City Girl," "Don't Confess," "Where Does the Good Go," and "Call It Off." In general, their lyrics are often a bit melancholic. All of Tegan's songs in "The Con" were inspired by a breakup.
  • Built with LEGO: The music video for "Everything is Awesome," the song they recorded for The LEGO Movie.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Fucking Up What Matters" features four F-bombs in its chorus, which is sung three times.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: In 2017, for the 10th anniversary of The Con, Tegan and Sara presented The Con X: Covers which featured artists from across the musical spectrum (from MUNA to Grimes) covering each of the songs from the album, some of which drastically change the way the song feels. The girls must have liked the differences, because in 2022 they also released Still Jealous in which they covered their own songs from So Jealous but switched who was singing which parts.
  • Evolving Music: From indie folk to rock to late '80s synthpop.
  • Eye Contact as Proof: The bridge of "Where Does the Good Go" is a series of demands of "look me in the eye" and "look me in the heart" and then make a denial or statement of love.
  • Intercourse with You: A handful of their songs contain cursory suggestive lyrics, but "All You Got", "Closer", "Stop Desire", and "Bodywork" with Morgan Page are probably the most directly and specifically about sexual encounters.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Walking With A Ghost" has one repeated verse and a near-Title-Only Chorus.
  • Love Martyr: The main character of "I Was a Fool" regrets having been one of these.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Most of their songs are extremely catchy and more than a few are pretty depressing once you pay attention to the lyrics.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Synthed up So Jealous is a notable change from the comparatively folky If It Was You.
    • "Sainthood" was the rockier departure from "The Con."
    • "Heartthrob" is a huge departure from everything they've done.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The titles of Under Feet Like Ours, This Business of Art, If It Was You, Sainthood, and Love You To Death don't actually appear in the albums. Sainthood, however, is titled after the Leonard Cohen lyric that inspired its songs.
  • Secret Relationship: "Boyfriend" is about the desire to make one public.
  • Sequel Song: Sara has suggested that "White Knuckles" could be this for "Like O, Like H".
    Sara: "...I think “White Knuckles” is a better version of “Like O, Like H.” It’s got a better structure. It’s sort of hard to articulate that — I know it as a feeling and a visual, but it’s almost as if you’re writing the same kinds of songs and making them better. Just rewriting them over and over and over again."
  • Silly Love Songs: "Underwater" actually uses the phrase: "For now, my head is in the clouds / I'm a silly love song / A twisted elbow crush song..." Meanwhile, "Closer" is a poppy and happy song about being excited to get intimate with a new flame, while Tegan even admits how cheesy "Love They Say" is.
  • Singer Namedrop: In live versions of "Divided", Tegan sings "Sara's out on the highway".
  • Shout Out: See the above comment about Sainthood.
    • Also Fat Mike of NOFX shouted them out in a song about meeting one of them at a festival. Although he doesn't seem sure which one he met, the song was called "Creeping Out Sara."
      • Sara, when asked about the song: "I am Sara, and I was creeped out."
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Divided" starts with a clip of either Tegan or Sara as a child, trying to grab a tape recorder from her mother:
    Tegan (or Sara): This is my tape recorder!
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Living Room" comes off this way: "My windows look into your bathroom, where I spend the evening watching you get yourself clean..."
  • Title Track: The song "The Con", from, well, you guessed it, The Con. So Jealous also has a title track. Hey I'm Just Like You also includes a title track.
  • Twin Banter: A pair of twins whose tendency to banter during live performances is a bit of a signature feature of theirs to fans.