Queer Artist Spotlight: Tegan And Sara
Tegan and Sara
I’m going to begin with maybe one of the more recognizable names on the list, Tegan and Sara. The band consists of, you probably guessed it, sisters Tegan and Sara Quin. This duo formed the band in the late 90’s and have been present in the indie music scene for over almost two decades.
My love for Tegan and Sara goes back pretty far into my time in middle school. I’m a perpetual night owl and as a kid I remember staying up late at night watching TV and playing Pokemon on whatever system was compatible with the latest game. I remember vividly music channels VH1 and Fuse had these large blocks of programming between like 2am-9am of just music videos. And after a while I started to recognize and grow fond of certain videos.
A video I loved at the time, 07-08ish, was for Tegan and Sara’s hit The Con from the album of the same name. As much as I loved this song at the time I knew nothing of the band. I eventually looked them up and it is then that I found out they were twins, I legitimately thought the two people in the music video were unrelated and didn’t they were both in the band. Important note, I was a dumb kid. And then I read that both women were openly gay. This blew my young gay mind, two sisters who were both openly gay and were successful in their field.
Since then they’ve stayed on my radar and had frequently returned to their music. Now here we are in 2018 and they’ve released a total of eight albums and don’t show any signs of stopping. Just last year they celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their aforementioned album, The Con, by releasing a compilation album of all the original tracks covered by different artists. They’ve found success and a loyal fanbase (and from my experience that means myself and a lot of queer women, and that is a group of people I love unconditionally).
Although some have criticized them from having a more pop-leaning sound on their newer records their last album is my favorite of theirs, from the first to the last track it is great. And I feel it largely flew under the radar, which is a crime since it is so good. Love You to Death came out two years ago and a lot of the songs from the album are in most of my playlists. The song “Hang on to the Night” might be one of their most under-appreciated songs.
I’m not going to shut up about this album because it has all the makings of a great album for me. It is on the shorter side, ten tracks in total (like most of their albums). Most songs clocking in at less than three and a half minutes. There a great low-budget videos for all the tracks. And the album cover and promotional images are amazing, it is very 80’s new wave and I absolutely adore it.
The song I’d like to highlight is the lead single, “Boyfriend”. I’m sure this song can resonate to anyone with it’s lyrics around an imperfect relationship that is one-sided. But it is all the more impactful to a queer audience.
Tegan and Sara have used their voice and exposure for the greater good, starting The Tegan and Sara Foundation, benefiting LGBTQ girls and women in areas like economic justice, health and representation. Last year they even had a The Future Is Fluid clothing collection with 100% of the sales proceeds going to directly to the organization.