New Music: Tegan and Sara

By Melanie Woods, June 9 2016 —

American senator Ted Cruz and former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and are among native Calgarians making recent headlines. However, pop duo Tegan and Sara Quin are quickly becoming one of our city’s most notable exports. ENT_TeganandSara-1

Their latest record, Love You to Death, sees the duo firmly planting their flag in the throwback electro-pop genre they first dipped into with the massively successful “Closer” off of 2012’s Heartthrob.

With no song running more than three and a half minutes, Love You to Death is a snappy, synth-infused burst of energy in a half hour package. It’s also the Quin sisters’ gayest album yet.

Tegan and Sara — who both openly identify as gay — have long been activists for the LGBTQ community. On Love You to Death, the duo firmly define their identities as women who love women and love singing about it. And as a queer woman, it’s refreshing to hear my experiences reflected in mainstream pop music.

The album’s lead single, “Boyfriend” became an LGBTQ anthem almost immediately after its mid-April release. The upbeat track features Tegan and Sara singing from the perspective of a woman in a queer relationship where her partner isn’t ready to define things. “You kiss me like your boyfriend, you call me up like you want your best friend,” the duo sings.

The song is equally longing and assured as the twins reiterate, “I don’t want to be your secret anymore,” expressing a sentiment felt by many young people in closeted relationships.

“BWU” — short for be with you — is the love song the queer community has been waiting for. With lyrics like “I love you, I don’t need a ring to prove that you’re worthy,” the track captures the simplicity of falling in love and reminds listeners that marriage equality isn’t the be-all end-all of LGBTQ relationships.

Other album highlights include the slowed-down “100x” — and its adorable puppy-filled music video — and the infectious, dance-worthy “Stop Desire.”

Love You to Death is mainstream pop at its finest, filled with memorable hooks, catchy lyrics and relatable experiences. Artistically, it’s not the most adventurous effort the Quin sisters are capable of, but for Tegan and Sara, average is still pretty damn good.

And more importantly — it’s pretty damn gay.

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