Award-winning Canadian duo Tegan and Sara debuted in the late '90s with an indie rock sound that would evolve into bright, full-fledged pop by the early 2000s. Formed by identical twin sisters Tegan Rain and Sara Keirsten Quin, the pair burst onto the Canadian music scene in 1998 when they earned the highest score in history at Calgary's Garage Warz competition. Their quick rise continued, and their melodic acoustics and charming stage personas led to a slew of dates with Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair that same year and a record deal with Neil Young's Vapor Records in April 2000.
Natives of Calgary, the siblings were heavily influenced by their parents' musical interests. Tegan and Sara began playing piano at age eight, and in their teens, they were playing in their own punk bands. They independently released their first effort -- Under Feet Like Ours -- in 1999 as "Sara and Tegan". This Business of Art, which was produced by singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman, marked their label debut in mid-2000, and a summer tour with Neil Young and the Pretenders followed in July. Two years later, Tegan and Sara released If It Was You, followed in 2004 by their commercial breakthrough, So Jealous. In 2005, the White Stripes released a popular cover of If It Was You's "Walking with a Ghost." That same year saw the duo touring the U.S. with the Killers and landing seven songs in the popular TV medical drama Grey's Anatomy.
By 2007, the twins had moved far from the singer/songwriter mold and were more interested in exploring pop, punk, and indie rock. That year, they released The Con, which would become one of the most beloved inclusions in their catalog. Produced by Christopher Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, The Con broke into the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 and spawned the singles "Back in Your Head" and "The Con." Based on the success of the Con sessions with Walla, the sisters would utilize his production skills on their next album, 2009's Sainthood. The year 2009 also found the duo collaborating with Tiësto on the song "Feel It in My Bones" for his Kaleidoscope album and with comedian Margaret Cho on the track "Intervention," from her Cho Dependent release. The former collaboration would be a significant step in a dance-friendly direction that the Quins would soon fully embrace. Before that, they issued the live CD/DVD Get Along, which was paired with three short behind-the-scenes films called States, India, and For the Most Part.
On their seventh studio album, Tegan and Sara turned to producer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Ke$ha) to make an album that reflected the modern pop sound. The slick yet emotionally powerful Heartthrob was released in early 2013 to almost universal critical acclaim, topping the charts in over a dozen countries and earning three Juno Awards and a Polaris Music Prize nomination. They next appeared singing the upbeat theme song to 2014's Lego Movie, "Everything Is AWESOME!!!" Recorded with the Lonely Island, the tune was certified gold and nominated for an Academy Award. Their next album, 2016's Love You to Death, was again produced by Kurstin and found the sisters delving even deeper into radio pop.
In 2017, the Quins celebrated the ten-year anniversary of their landmark album, The Con, with a covers album titled The Con X, which featured newly recorded versions of Con tracks by artists like MUNA, Mykki Blanco, PVRIS, Ryan Adams, Bleachers, Sara Bareilles, CHVRCHES, Cyndi Lauper, and Hayley Williams of Paramore. ~ MacKenzie Wilson & Neil Z. Yeung