I first heard of Tegan and Sara in 2007, the summer after I graduated high school and their indie rock hit “Back in Your Head” was the soundtrack to my summer.
Today, a decade later, their upbeat sound still brings me right back to sitting on the beach, gusts of heavy Virginia heat picking up my hair while sneaking sips of whiskey. Tegan and Sara were always there, singing to me from my mixed CD (feeling old as dirt rn).
I have been a fan of the twin sister duo from Canada ever since, which is why I was thrilled to chat with Tegan, from Tegan and Sara, about their latest album, Love You To Death, their new upbeat sound and what’s inspiring them these days.
Love You To Death debuted in 2016 and fans noticed a shift in the sound of this album from indie rock to more pop. Tegan said the genre change has been good so far.
“It is our opinion that all 8 of our records have sounded different,” Tegan said. “We challenge ourselves to make something original and take risks with our production and our songwriting every time we step into the record writing and recording process. For us it’s necessary for our survival as a band to change. But it’s also our goal to take what works, what feels good, what the fans love and carry it over into the next record. It’s about finding the perfect balance of both.”
Being multi-genre has reached more listeners for Tegan and Sara, and as a result made their fan base more diverse, something they love to see.
“For our band supporting a variety of other artists, releasing records that sound different, collaborating with artists from different genres — this has been the way we have stayed relevant and successful,” Tegan said. “It’s the only way to survive outside the radio model. Since we get very little radio support outside of Canada we have to be creative about how we reach people.”
Writing their own music is the core of Tegan and Sara.
“Our goal is to make great music, but first and foremost it’s about writing relevant songs,” said Tegan, who added that the inspiration for the songs on their latest album come directly from personal experiences. “The songs from our latest record speak to experiences we’ve had in our adult lives. The songs are a spectrum of stories about partnerships and relationships we have had. Including our relationship to music and each other.”
“Being in a band with your family has often been both a blessing and a curse,” she said. “This record delves into the deeper layers of that commitment.”
As far as what their blasting while on the road, Tegan responded: “Love the new Paramore record. Love the new Haim tracks I’ve heard. Love a new Canadian artist named Ruth B.”
Besides being two kick-ass singer-songwriters, Tegan and Sara are also advocates.
“We just launched the Tegan and Sara Foundation,” Tegan said. “Our mission is to fight for economic justice, healthcare and representation for women and girls in the LGBTQ community. There are so many amazing smaller organizations focusing on these issues and we want to use our platform to raise funds and awareness for them. Women and girls are underfunded, under researched and underrepresented. We hope to be able to help change that in any way we can.”
8 albums and over 20 years later, Tegan and Sara continue to bring an authentic, passionate and feel-good vibe to their music, fans and shows. Come see them at the Norva on June 7th.
Tegan and Sara are coming to the Norva on June 7th, get your ticket here!