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Tegan and Sara: Get Along

Photo by Pamela Littky

One of the most exciting things about this month is Tegan and Sara’s DVD/CD combo Get Along, set to release on Nov. 15.

Tegan and Sara have always made music that feels wonderfully fresh, so it’s hard to believe that they have been making music for over ten years.

Last week a friend asked me if there are any bands that have continually made quality albums throughout their existence. This caliber of band is hard to find. The Smiths, and perhaps U2 came to mind. Can you think of any others?

And although we may not put Tegan and Sara in that same category just yet, I’ve been hard-pressed to find a sub-par tune in their first ten years of band life.

They have consistently fused catchy pop with intelligent songwriting, and even when they try on new sounds, the end result is wonderfully mature.

I suppose the next ten years will answer the question a bit more definitively.

For now, let’s look at back at some of the tasty gems T&S have given us over the past decade.


This Business of Art

T&S don’t play a whole lot of these songs live, so I won’t spend too much time writing about it, but I did like “My Number.”


If It Was You

This album is a chocolate river, and I am Augustus Gloop. If you haven’t given this album its due, sit in the corner of shame right now.

Ok, that’s enough shame.

This album has wonderful feel to it, and almost every song is catchy and fun.

“Time Running”
10 out of 10 for opening energy, similar to “The Headmaster Ritual” on The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder album, and the follow up “You Went Away” is equally as fun.

“Not Tonight”
This is probably the most lasting song from the album, it feels as affecting and lovely as ever.

“I Hear Noises”
Favorite song off the album!

“Living Room”
I love a song that veers away from the rest of the album, and ends up becoming one of the most popular songs in a band’s repertoire. Listen, and just try to sit still.


If It’s Not Fun Don’t Do It

This 2006 DVD gave T&S fans a glimpse of their touring life and live shows, which are quite entertaining.

“Love Type Thing”
This sweet number was the B-side to their 2005Walking With A Ghost” single. Also, if you’re a fan of The L Word, you’ll recall that in episode 11 of season 3, when the ladies are reminiscing about Dana, we flashback to Shane taking Dana to a Tegan and Sara concert, and the band makes a guest appearance playing this song. (Sidenote: strike one was killing Dana, strike two -1,000 was writing out Carmen).


So Jealous

Oh jeez, I can’t breathe with all the critical acclaim this album garnered! And rightly so. This album rocked, and provided nearly the entire the soundtrack for the first two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy … not that I watch Grey’s, or anything.

Is there a song on this album that’s not to like? I don’t think so. So let’s look at a few goodies, including my personal all-time fave.

“Walking With A Ghost”
It’s important to not dismiss a song simply based on mass popularity, and this is a great example. No, I don’t really know what the song is about, but who doesn’t love it?

“Fix You Up”
Ding ding ding! My favorite T&S song of all time, this one is a grower. A dizzying hike of a love story, this song is about giving all that you have to someone, and even that may not be enough.

“Where Does The Good Go”
What a neat question to ask at the end of something. Where do all of the good feelings that we created together actually go? Relationship recycling factory?

“Speak Slow”
Terribly, terribly catchy.


The Con

“Knife Going In”

To me, this is the finest song on the album due to the ingenious layering going on. The usual suspects are here – two voices, and varied,  intricate instrumentation. But what makes this song so memorable is the incorporation of non-musical bits of sound, namely silence. The pauses between verse and chords act as the glue in this eerie meditation on alienation, forcing you to share the silence with the narrator.

“Call It Off”
The dismantling of the drum kit! Those noises you hear in the background are of a drum kit being taken apart, piece-by-piece.

“Like O, Like H”
I love the simple layering against a backdrop of silence. And although I wasn’t an immediate fan of this tune, it quickly dug its way into my defenseless, pop-loving mind.

“Soil, Soil”
Being a forlorn break-up song, this one ranks among the prettiest of the genre.


Sainthood

I’ll be honest; I didn’t take to this album as immediately as I did with The Con. However, after giving it a few listens it became clear that this is another solid addition to the T&S arsenal.

“The Ocean”
I love the way this song clips along, the narrator almost determined not to dwell on a love that she can’t stop thinking about.

“Alligator”
An entire album is devoted to remixes of this el classico piece! My favorite is by RAC.

“Arrow”
I listened to this song while driving to the beach, and I’ve always associated it with sandy, sunny times – even if T&S are not generally a bright and sunny band.

Tegan and Sara apparently get along with others very well, having collaborated with the likes of Tiesto, Astronautalis, Melissa Ferrick, and Theopolis London to name a few from a very long list.

“Feel It In My Bones”
If I’ve learned anything from history, it’s that Tegan and Sara can deliver. Each song is its own emotional ecosystem, packed with mesmerizing instrumentals and nearly undecipherable lyrics.

So check out the new stuff and pre-order the DVD/CD set here, like a good little T&S fan.

 

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