Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara. Indie rock duo formed in Calgary in 1995 by twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin (b Calgary 19 Sep 1980). The duo called themselves Plunk and then Sara and Tegan before adopting their current moniker in 1999.

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara. Indie rock duo formed in Calgary in 1995 by twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin (b Calgary 19 Sep 1980). The duo called themselves Plunk and then Sara and Tegan before adopting their current moniker in 1999. Tegan and Sara write their music separately, but join forces in the final stages to revise and arrange tracks.

Early Career and Recordings

Tegan and Sara's interest in music developed in high school after they discovered an old guitar in their Calgary home. The two, who are self-taught, immediately began to write original material. Tegan and Sara initially played in local punk bands, but by 1998 they had established themselves as an acoustic folk-rock duo. After winning Calgary's Garage Warz competition and recording a collection of demos they embarked on several small Canadian tours.

Their independent debut, Under Feet Like Ours (1999), attracted the attention of Neil Young's Vapor Records, with whom they signed in 2000. Tegan and Sara's first major-label release, This Business of Art (2000), was produced by Hawksley Workman, who also provided instrumental support. Their 2002 release, If It Was You (Superclose Music), signalled a shift from the acoustic singer-songwriter idiom to pop- and rock-infused arrangements with electric instrumentation.

Tegan and Sara's self-produced breakthrough album, 2004's So Jealous (Sanctuary), featured upbeat pop melodies and fuller instrumentation. The two wrote together for the first time in preparation for Sainthood (2009, Sire), though only one co-written track made the final cut. Produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and Howard Redekopp, Sainthood also marked the duo's earliest attempt at recording with a full, live band.

Awards and Recognitions

Tegan and Sara won outstanding pop recording for If It Was You at the 2003 Western Canadian Music Awards. They have received Juno Award nominations for alternative album of the year (So Jealous in 2005, The Con in 2007, and Sainthood in 2009) and for music DVD of the year (It's Not Fun. Don't Do It! in 2006). Rolling Stone named So Jealous one of the 50 best albums of 2004, while Sainthood was similarly recognized by Spin Magazine in 2009. In 2010 Sainthood was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.

Collaborations

Tegan and Sara have toured with such acts as The Pretenders, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson, and Rufus Wainwright. The duo performed at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert in 2004 and 2007, and have made appearances on albums by Against Me!, Dragonette, The Reason, and DJ Tiësto. In 2008 Tegan was asked to write and record a song for Augusten Burroughs' audiobook A Wolf at the Table.

Selected Discography

Under Feet Like Ours. 1999. Tegan and Sara STCD-001

This Business of Art. 2000. Vapor Records 9 47684-2

If It Was You. 2002. Superclose Music 76974-22282

So Jealous. 2004. Sanctuary 06076-89403-2

The Con. 2007. MapleMusic Recordings MRCD6472

Sainthood. 2009. Sire 9362-49728-8


Further Reading

  • Sperounes, Sandra. "Quin twins mark major musical career milestone: By turning 20, Tegan and Sara leave pop's teen scene behind," Edmonton Journal, 21 Sep 2000

    Drumming, Neil. "Sing out sisters: Canadian wonder twins Tegan and Sara wrestle with pop, privacy, and people's perceptions," Entertainment Weekly, 13 Dec 2002

    McElheran, Graeme. "Calgary catches up with Tegan and Sara," Calgary Herald, 6 Sep 2003

    Devenish, Colin. "Tegan and Sara go pop," Rolling Stone, 14 Sep 2004

    Wappler, Margaret. "Tegan and Sara musically nurtured," The Windsor Star, 2 Aug 2007

    Patch, Nick. "Sainthood brings Tegan and Sara closer," The Guelph Mercury, 12 Nov 2009

    Dunlevy, T'Cha. "Tegan and Sara get it together and win praise," The Ottawa Citizen, 21 Jan 2010

External Links