Why We Love Tegan & Sara

The duo brings a radical voice to pop music


The fact that they’re twin sisters and both lesbians makes them hip, and edgy and one of a kind on the music charts, but the real reason to love Tegan and Sara Quin is for their fearlessness. The duo consistently takes risks with their music and they’re not afraid to go after what they want both professionally and politically. After cultivating a hardcore indie fan base with albums like 2002’s If It Was You and 2004’s So Jealous, Tegan and Sara decided they wanted to make their presence felt on the mainstream pop charts. The result? Their 2013 synth pop album Heartthrob broke into the Top 40, and suddenly they found themselves on the same stages as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. But the leap from indie darlings to pop sensation didn’t sit well with their most devoted fans. “Our mainstream success created a vast valley between us and them,” Tegan told Rolling Stone. “As much as it might have made it seem like we were selling out, what we were really doing was stepping up and we were pushing our way into a world that did not have anything representing us.” Tegan and Sara—who’ve been ardent advocates for LGBT equality (in 2012, they appeared on the cover of a music magazine holding a sign that read “The rights of the minority should never be subject to the whim of the majority”)—continue to infuse the world of pop with their queer sensibility. The debut single from their new album Love You To Death (out June 3) is a song called “Boyfriend,” which is about being in a relationship with a woman who had never dated another woman before and who was still seeing another man. The song perfectly encapsulates how Tegan and Sara are shaking up the music industry—they deliver a radical message wrapped in a catchy, danceable tune. “I think [it’s] pretty relatable,” said Sara of the  premise of “Boyfriend.” “Obviously, being gay, there’s sort of a bit of a gender twist in the song. But this idea, you know, that we’ve all been in that situation where we really like someone and we want to make it official, and they’re not ready, that’s what the song is about.”