Editor’s Note: Brian Stratton writes about one of his favorite Tegan and Sara albums from the Canadian sisters’ catalog.
We all have a certain song or album that we associate with a band. It might not be the artist’s biggest hit or a critically acclaimed release, but nonetheless it strongly resonates with you.
That is the joy of music, finding a way to personally connect with the art and discovering your own meaning behind it.
For me, I can’t think about Canadian sister duo Tegan and Sara without their 2009 album “Sainthood” crossing my mind.
The album arrived unexpectedly as a Christmas gift for my wife, Lori, from her brother. A peculiar thing happened as I listened to that album – I liked it from the moment I first heard it. With each passing song, this sense continued to grow. I was really enjoying this album.
Lori said I “claimed” Tegan and Sara as my own, even though the album was hers. She was right. The songs all had an incredible energy to them. They were short, catchy and intense, just like the album itself.
The sincere and direct lyrics on life and relationships complemented the music perfectly. I was hooked on these little indie-rock gems.
In my mind, “Sainthood” is one of those synergistic albums where listening to it in its entirety is a greater experience that any of its individual songs.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of great songs on it, including “Hell,” “On Directing,” “Northshore” and “Sentimental Tune.” I could go on, but then I’d just list the entire album. In fact, “Sainthood” is proof album art form is still alive and well.
It didn’t hurt that half of Death Cab for Cutie was involved in the recording of the album. Former Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla co-produced the album and played various instruments, while Jason McGerr handled the drums.
It’s a pleasant surprise when bands you like work with each other. Apparently, there was more than one kind of synergy going on here.
Since then, “Sainthood” has become one of my go-to albums when I need a boost of energy. I’ve listened to it many times over the years, and the infectious, upbeat songs never fail to get me into the groove.
So it was with a fair amount of anticipation that I saw Tegan and Sara perform at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich. on Oct. 26. Their short, catchy songs have transitioned smoothly to the synth pop sound of their recent releases.