Growing Good Things
How is this duo passing the last days of their 30s? Well, about a month into the pandemic, they started broadcasting a YouTube show from Sara's garden called 'Where Does The Good Grow?'
So that’s where this irrepressibly creative team is now: bringing us some laughs and nature therapy in this time of incredible change. But where were Tegan and Sara before? Like, say, where were they in 1995?
Math time: If they’re 40 in 2020 and they started playing guitar at age 15, what year was that? We had to phone a friend, but apparently, the answer is 1995. That’s when Tegan and Sara began playing guitar and writing songs. Listen to this: The high school that they attended in Calgary had a recording studio! That’s so rad. They thought so, too, and the pair cut two demo albums there: ‘Who's in Your Band?’ and ‘Play Day’. In 1998 they won Calgary’s ‘Garage Warz’ competition. This is a traditional “Battle of the Bands” situation but with alt-rock ‘90s extreme branding. “Wars” with a zed. C’mon. But anyway, before Tegan and Sara knew it, they were opening for Hayden.
Sara and Tegan’s 1999 debut record, ‘Under Feet Like Ours’, kept on debuting. First, it debuted under Sara and Tegan. But people kept thinking it was from a solo artist named ‘Sara Antegan’. So ‘Under Feet Like Ours’ re-debuted, this time attributed to Tegan and Sara. It was re-released again in 2001 with the bonus track "Frozen”. The debut album's most recent debut was its entrance into the vinyl arena: ‘Under Feet Like Ours’ debuted on vinyl in conjunction with Record Store Day 2017.
Everything Is Connected To Neil Young
Doesn’t it feel like anything cool in Canada somehow crosses paths with Neil Young at some point? These guys are no different. Tegan and Sara signed with Neil Young's Vapor Records and released their next record, ‘This Business of Art’ through the label in 2000.
‘Walking With A Ghost’
‘If It Was You’ was released in 2002 but it was their fourth record, 2004’s ‘So Jealous’, that generated a lot of attention. It only increased when the White Stripes covered Tegan and Sara’s "Walking with a Ghost" on their ‘Walking with a Ghost’ EP in December 2005.
Their seminal 2007 album, ‘The Con’, was worked on by Jason McGerr of Death Cab for Cutie and Matt Sharp of the Rentals and Weezer, among others. To celebrate the record’s 10th anniversary in 2017, Tegan and Sara released ‘The Con X: Covers’, which features Ruth B., Ryan Adams, City and Colour, CHVRCHES, Cyndi Lauper, and more.
In addition to touring constantly, Tegan and Sara released ‘Sainthood’ in 2009, accompanied by a three-volume collection of stories and photos called ‘ON, IN, AT’. ‘Sainthood’ debuted at No. 21 on the albums chart and sold 24,000 copies during its first week. Those are exciting numbers. The whole idea is exciting: hard work leading to success. So satisfying.
'Get Along' Long Form
In 2011, Tegan and Sara released ‘Get Along’, an ambitious project comprising three films and a live album. ‘Get Along’ was nominated for Best Long Form Music Video at the 2013 Grammy Awards, but lost to ‘Big Easy Express’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
When ‘Heartthrob’ dropped in 2013, it debuted at #No. 3 and hit No. 1 on the rock and alternative album charts. But their commercial success didn’t tarnish their indie cred, which was bolstered when the album was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize. ‘Heartthrob’ netted the pair three Juno Awards -- for Single of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, and Group of the Year.
Three! Exclamation! Points!
Tegan and Sara collabed with Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island gang on a song called "Everything Is Awesome!!!" for “The Lego Movie” soundtrack in 2014. The song received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, losing to "Glory" by John Legend and Common from the movie “Selma”. But watching Tegan and Sara’s performance alongside Lonely Island, Questlove, and confetti on the Oscars broadcast was glorious.
Governor General Julie Payette awarded Tegan and Sara with the National Arts Centre Award during the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards in 2018. The out-and-proud pair are two-time winners of the Outstanding Music Artist at the GLAAD Media Awards, in 2014 and 2017. In the wake of the U.S. election, they founded the Tegan and Sara Foundation to fight for "economic justice, health and representation for LGBTQ girls and women". Profits from projects including ‘The Con X: Covers’ go to the Tegan and Sara Foundation.
“I respect albums you have to listen to 10 times to get into it, but that’s not our band,” Sara told 'Rolling Stone' . “Tegan and I walk into every room like the only way we’ll survive is if we talk and charm everyone. We’re not slow-burn people. I am a politician; I go around the room and talk to everybody. I think our songs do the same thing.” They do. You know what else does? Their stories. People are big fans of their stories, from their on-stage banter to their online channels. Their bestselling memoir, ’High School’, came out last year alongside the record, ‘Hey, I’m Just Like You’. We wish. And we wish this duo a happy 40th.