Photos © 2016 by: Roman Sobus
Biography: Propelled by the conviction of reinvention, Tegan and Sara’s 8th studio album, Love You To Death, is the latest sonic chapter in a celebrated 17-year career. Produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Beck, Ellie Goulding), Love You To Death delivers 10 new Tegan and Sara tracks more vibrant and visionary than ever.
Tegan and Sara explored a transcendent pop sheen for the first time on 2013’s Heartthrob, which deftly balanced critical acclaim with mainstream ambitions. They follow it up here with an equally explosive production, but one that casts darker shadows and lingers longer in the psyche. Taking a page from dramatic non-fiction, Love You To Death finds Tegan and Sara mining their own lives to investigate complex relationship dynamics. At one moment the subject is their own inescapable relationship as twin sisters (100x, White Knuckles), while at another it’s a romantic relationship that drives the protagonist to mournful regret (“That Girl”). Secret relationships (“Boyfriend”) give way to social judgment about passion and transience (“Faint of Heart”). Marriage is eloquently questioned as a barometer for commitment (“BWU”), while commitment itself is questioned with a deliberately self-conscious anti-love-song (“U-turn”). With each album their writing grows in precision and vulnerability, and differing lyrical voices continue to sharpen their respective identities – Tegan’s unapologetically clear word choice in evaluating romance (“Stop Desire”) is balanced by Sara’s poetic reflections on anxiety (“Hang on to the Night”).
Even as they’ve been embraced by the mainstream, Tegan and Sara consciously operate to the left of popular culture – their lyrical and social wisdom comes from an outside vantage looking in. Paradoxically, the essential message that underpins their worldview and identity is inclusion. So it is only fitting that these two self-described outsiders have ultimately found acceptance from such a diverse amalgamation of cultural forces. This is a band that can perform comfortably alongside Katy Perry or Neil Young, Taylor Swift or The Killers. You may have seen them in the dusty desert at Coachella or on the pristine stage at the Academy Awards. Few other contemporary artists can cross boundaries of genre and culture so effortlessly.
Twin sisters born in Calgary, Alberta and now residing in Vancouver, BC, Tegan and Sara’s career numbers are impressive – over 1 million albums sold, 7 Gold certifications, 1 Double Platinum certification, 3 Juno Awards, 2 Polaris Prize nominations, and a Grammy nomination. But even more impressive is the conviction that has driven Tegan and Sara’s relentless evolution as artists. Transitioning from acoustic roots to indie rock royalty in the mid 2000s, with widely-acclaimed albums So Jealous (2004) and The Con (2007), they began the path of reinvention that continues to inform their creative identity today.
If the highest intention of the artist is to self-actualize, Tegan and Sara have given their devoted audience the gift of a front-row seat to their lifelong process of evolution. Love You To Death, featuring the first single “Boyfriend,” will be released on Warner Bros. Records on June 3, 2016.