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Tegan and Sara Biography

Home > Music > T > Tegan and Sara > Biography

Birth Place: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Years Active: 1995–present
Genres: Indie Pop, Indie Rock, New Wave

Tegan and Sara are a Canadian indie pop/indie rock/New Wave band led by identical twins Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Kiersten Quin (born September 19, 1980 in Calgary, Alberta). Both Tegan and Sara play guitar and keyboard and write songs, most often separately. Whoever writes each song typically sings the melody for it. The band has released six studio albums since 1999, most recently ''Sainthood'' in 2009.

They initially played as PLUNK without a drummer or bass player. In 1997, they used their school’s recording studio to record two demo albums: “Who's in Your Band?” and “Play Day.” In 1998, they won Calgary's "Garage Warz" competition, using the studio time they won to record their first professional demo, “Yellow Demo,” which was followed by “Orange Demo” and “Red Demo.” For a while they played as "Sara and Tegan" before deciding that it was easier to say "Tegan and Sara."

Two songs from “Red Demo” appeared on their first album, “Under Feet Like Ours,” which they released independently in 1999. Neil Young's manager signed them to Young's Vapor Records label, and they released “This Business of Art” through Vapor in 2000. They have toured extensively since then.

In 2002, the band released “If It Was You.” Their fourth album, “So Jealous,” was released in 2004 and led to wider success. This album was released through both Vapor and Sanctuary. One track on the album, "Walking with a Ghost", was covered by The White Stripes, who released it on their “Walking with a Ghost” EP.

Their 2007 album “The Con” was released by Vapor and Sire because Sanctuary chose to no longer release new music in the United States. The album was co-produced by Chris Walla. Jason McGerr of Death Cab for Cutie, Matt Sharp of The Rentals and previously Weezer, Hunter Burgan of AFI, and Kaki King all appear on the album.

On October 27, 2009, Tegan and Sara released their sixth album “Sainthood,” produced by Chris Walla and Howard Redekopp, as well as a three-volume book set titled “ON, IN, AT,” which is a collection of stories, essays, journals, and photos of the band on tour in America in the fall of 2008, writing together in New Orleans, and touring Australia. The photographs in the book are by Lindsey Byrnes and Ryan Russell.

While recording “Sainthood,” Tegan and Sara spent a week writing songs together in New Orleans. The song "Paperback Head" appeared on the album, making it the first song on any Tegan and Sara album that they wrote together.