Tegan and Sara
They’re here, they’re queer, and they want you to groove on a truly inclusive dance floor.
In 1995, at the height of grunge music, 15-year-old twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin started their first band in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The band was called Plunk and consisted of only two members: Tegan and Sara. Back then everyone called the twins Sara and Tegan, and outside school they mostly holed up in their bedrooms, crafting their first punk-inspired songs on their shared guitars. After graduation, Plunk (a play on “light punk”) briefly became Sara and Tegan, but the sequence was soon shuffled to stand out better in a sea of bands named Sara(h): officially becoming the band Tegan and Sara in late 1999.
Tegan and Sara have released 9 studio albums, slowly crafting a sound both unique and influential. Selling over a million albums before streaming came along, Tegan and Sara became indie darlings in the early aughts, playing every bar, club, theater, arena and festival stage along the way. They cut their teeth supporting some of the world’s biggest bands: Neil Young, The Black Keys, Bryan Adams, Ben Folds, Paramore, Cyndi Lauper and The Killers, to name a few. Their indie rock staple “Walking With A Ghost” broke through on radio and was covered by The White Stripes. Later collaborating with dance artists like Tiesto, Morgan Page, Matthew Dear, David Guetta and Allesso, Tegan and Sara started to fuse their indie rock sound to a more electronic production style.
After a decade-long run conquering the indie world, Tegan and Sara went into the studio with producer Greg Kurstin (Katy Perry, Adele, Kesha, Kelly Clarkson) in 2012 to record their seventh album, Heartthrob. The record thrust them into the pop world and set them on a course to alter the mainstream. Their single “Closer” was certified Gold in the US and Platinum in Canada, and went on to be covered by the cast of the TV show Glee, while Tegan and Sara inched further towards the mainstream with appearances on Ellen’s hit TV show and an arena tour with Katy Perry. The loyal, passionate fanbase Tegan and Sara had methodically built expanded even more.
Each year since Heartthrob has brought further reinvention. In 2014 Tegan and Sara signed up to be part of The Lego Movie and eventually performed their indelible single “Everything Is Awesome” at the Oscars with the Lonely Island and a dancing possum. In 2016 they released Love You To Death, the much anticipated follow up to Heartthrob, with a mission to queer the mainstream. In 2017 they launched the Tegan and Sara Foundation to help raise funds to improve the lives of LGBTQ women and girls. In 2018 Tegan and Sara were given the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in Canada, the country’s highest honor for creatives. In 2019 Tegan and Sara released their first memoir, High School, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller and recounts their teenage years in raw detail. In conjunction with the memoir, they released their 9th studio album, Hey, I’m Just Like You, an alternative pop record reimagining their first songs written back in the 90’s in their bedrooms.
Popular Virtual Topics
Community in the Age of COVID-19
During the current global health crisis, the need for connection is more vital Han ever. With depression, anxiety, and isolation on the rise, we are all struggling. Tegan and Sara have build a fan base that is as much about community as it is a celebration of their music. This interactive program is designed to help young people feel less alone while offering solutions and resources for mental wellness.
Pride, Equality, and Representation: The State of the LGBTQ Community
With most live PRIDE events on hold, Tegan and Sara are throwing a virtual party. While many battles remain, there is space for joy as queer acceptance and justice continue to progress. Through their albums, live performances, and recent memoir, the Grammy nominees have been blazing trails for over two decades. Now they are available for a customized online program that will inspire the next wave of activism.
Tegan and Sara criticize — and come to terms with — their past selves in their memoir, High School.
Tegan and Sara’s memoir and companion album ditches rock stardom for a funny, raw, and relatable look at being a teen.
Sara Quin of Canadian indie pop band Tegan and Sara opens up about her youth and about the complicated emotions she experienced while working on these projects.