Back In Your Head: The Tegan & Sara Discography Rate | Page 68 | The Popjustice Forum

Back In Your Head: The Tegan & Sara Discography Rate

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by ohnostalgia, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    tegan: hey so we're going to play you some new songs, are you ready? are you warmed up? um i wrote this next song um i was out in palm springs- you know where that is? it's like where old people hang out.... and gay people. that's where i spend a lot of my time as a gay person um. so i was out there and i was writing songs for love you to death and i wrote this next song and i sent it to sara and she wrote back and was like "it's super cool," but i didn't like her response so i reconfigured it and emailed it back. and then i texted her three or four times and was like "what do you think? what do you think? what do you think?" and she was like "yeah, it's cool." so then i um spent an entire day remixing it um and sent it to sara and she wrote back "it's good. this is i think probably the first one you sent is really good." so then when we got in the studio uh we chose it to record and halfway through the first day i had like a mini-meltdown where i was like "you guys think we should do this song? do you think it's good?" and sara was like "it's good. you need to chill out, it's a good song." and i was like "okay." and then when we went back to rerecord vocals i was like "is this the song to put on the record?" and sara was like "yeah, no it's a good song. we spent all this time recording it and you keep talking about it, it's a great song." and then when we finished the record and we were figuring out how to sequence it i was like "should we just get rid of this song altogether? cause there's only room for ten and we recorded twelve" and sara was like "i think we should open the record with it." and um i only have one thing to say about that, but like "do you think we should play it tonight or should we just get rid of it altogether, what do you think?"


    #15b. That Girl 8.58

    HIGH: 10.00 x 7 @constantino @eccentricsimply @Ferk @LA Hallucinations @LE0Night @Remorque @Slice of Life
    LOW: 6.50 x 2 @2014 @send photo
    MY SCORE: 8.00

    ALBUM: Love You To Death
    WRITER: Tegan

    "When I was writing this record, I was dating someone. So when I had dinner the other night, a friend asked, “Is that person weirded out that you wrote all those songs and then you guys broke up?” But I didn’t write about my current situation. I don’t want to be that person who writes about my relationships anymore, but I can write about my relationship to relationships. So with “That Girl,” it was awkward because I was dating someone but then I took two months to go to Palm Springs and write the bulk of this record. I really struggled with that song because it’s dark. It’s me writing about being treated a certain way and accepting that and, therefore, being okay with treating people a certain way. It’s hard at the end of a beautiful day in Palm Springs to be with person you’re dating at cocktail hour, and you’re like, “Oh, would you like to hear this incredibly dark song about me not putting up with bullshit?” It’s a downer. They’re like, “Cool song!” but you can tell they’re thinking, Is that about me? No, it’s about me and how shitty I am in relationships. Yaaay, enjoy your time here! And it was all Sara who got the song recorded and got it to open the album."

    That Girl is a prime example of what Tegan meant when she described Love You To Death as an introspective pop album. Instead of focusing solely on what the other person did wrong in their relationship, Tegan takes the next step and starts to examine her own contributions and shortcomings. We've probably all had those moments of looking in the mirror and asking when we became that girl/boy; I mean my mom clocked me looking in the mirror today trying to figure out if I looked thinner, but I digress. I always thought this was a bit of a strange opener to Love You To Death but it all makes sense now that I know Sara suggested it. In a way it reminds me of opening The Con with I Was Married; both ultimately connect with the theme of the album but can also sound like a bit of a musical non-sequitur. Confession time: this is my lowest score on Love You To Death and I would've happily said goodbye to it like twenty places ago.

    @Petty Mayonnaise (8.5) exposes our ladies man hating ways: "Bop, but what I really want is one last SUPER explosive chorus right where it ends. Like, that’s where it feels like it’s going so it’s a big of a musical blue balls expedition when it doesn’t happen." @digitalkaiser (8) uses a good adjective: "I love how much this song glitters, some great lyrics, and that wonderful bit where the music drops out and their voices are crystal clear. Its fabulous!" It does kinda sound glittery! @constantino (10) uses a different g word: "This is probably the biggest grower on the entire album…which is odd in hindsight because the hooks/the overall appeal aren’t exactly discreet. I adore the glistening production, it’s so crisp and clean. Every time I listen to this I think of this gif:"

    me @send photo

    @Posh Spears (7) you have nothing to apologize about: "Maybe a 7 was a point too low for this but it confused me as an album opener and, you know, the whole album can’t be 10s. But this is a total grower, and the lyric “nobody hurts you like me” is one of my favorites on the album." I'd probably bump it down to a 7.5 if I had to lower a score on Love You To Death. @Jwentz (7) is still doing Prince rate promo: "The minimalistic backing synths remind me a bit of I Would Die 4 U." Some of you might rejoice in stingy @eccentricsimply (10) taking another loss: "This is one of the best album starter songs of all times honestly. The piano with their vocals at first building up to how fun the song becomes afterwards is everything." @Ferk (10) is an equal opportunity relator: ""No one hurts you like me...when did I become that girl?" I'm a guy but this song really hits me hard...the whole "Love You To Death" album really came out at the perfect time in my life. It's one of the albums closest to my heart this year and this song is one of the reasons why." While @Slice of Life (10) uses some... interesting imagery: "I love how the production is so severe like it's attacking me violently. It perfectly captures the song. What a perfect start to an album."

  2. eccentricsimply

    eccentricsimply Staff Member




    Slice of Life likes this.
  3. Damn fucking straight. Poor Faint of Heart.
  4. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I think I'm going to try and just cut the third one out of here. I don't know, stay tuned.
    Slice of Life and send photo like this.
  5. I don't feel bad for any of you anymore. Suffer.
  6. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Me from the moment @Ferk led the If It Was You cull.
    Ferk likes this.
  7. which I lowkey feel terrible about.
    LE0Night and ohnostalgia like this.
  8. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    tegan: i wanted her to say something in front of this but then i also put the pressure on her to say something in front of i was married too so i'm going to take advantage even though this is not my song to say that this is my favourite song off of our new record and um when sara sent it to me i tried to get her to edit the lyrics. what's really frustrating about being in a band with sara for twenty years is that she's pretty much never done anything i've asked her to do. but i- there was a lyric change that i wanted in the chorus and she didn't do it and then the record came out and almost immediately people online attached to the song, specifically people who were suffering from anxiety or people who were having a tough time. and i was like oh my god, i almost ruined sara's song. and so i want to formally apologize to sara because now it's my favourite song and then i sing the chorus i think ohhhh it's good. i almost fucked that up.

    sara: it's the first time she's ever apologized to me in thirty-five years.

    tegan: i had my fingers crossed behind my back the whole time.


    #15c. Hang On To The Night 8.58

    HIGH: 10.00 x 5 @Ferk @LE0Night @ohnostalgia @Petty Mayonnaise @Slice of Life
    LOW: 7.00 x 3 @ethansiafbjork @Jwentz @Sprockrooster

    ALBUM: Love You To Death
    WRITER: Sara

    Hanging tonight, hanging tonight
    I dunno why I sweat this
    Hanging tonight, hanging tonight
    But I can't get past this
    Hanging tonight, hanging tonight
    I just felt so helpless
    Hanging tonight, hanging tonight
    And I just can't shake it

    As has often been the case with this rate, every time I have to eliminate one of Sara's anxiety songs it's like my mind decides that I should have a little dose to remind me (as if I'd ever forget). Yesterday night I was having a moment with myself, wasting time and energy worrying about something that didn't deserve my attention. Now in the past I wouldn't have had the self-awareness to catch that, but after two years (god has it been two years) of recognizing that yes I actually have a mental health condition and here's what I can do about it, I could completely see where I was heading. I needed to put on the brakes or risk falling down the rabbit hole, but the thing is- I couldn't do it.

    Every time you take
    Take me home
    I fall down on the floor
    I can't take anymore
    Every time you pick
    You pick me up
    You tell me this is what love
    What all love is for

    So I just kinda sat there willing myself not to follow through with the type of checking behaviour that usually reassures my anxiety, but not able to make it to the next step of focusing on something else. Eventually I had to reach out to some lovely people on here to talk me down and pull me away from the edge.

    Hang on to the night
    Watching each day pass you
    Hang on to your heart
    Like the future's gonna break through
    Hang on to yourself
    No good'll come from being untrue
    Hang on to your heart
    Lost is fame but it can stay through

    All in all not that much of a disaster but rather a "friendly" reminder of the well worn halls my mind has walked since childhood. 'Cause see the thing is- there's been times in my life when my mind was literally a revolving door of anxiety. There's actually six months of my life that I don't remember much about beyond huge black strokes of fear and help and lost. Hell, there was even a time when I didn't see a future beyond years upon years of bleakness intruding on any moments of happiness I could find. Sometimes listening to Hang On To the Night takes me back there and it can be an incredibly difficult song to hear. It has this kind of daydreamy quality to it which distorts reality? I don't know if that makes sense, but it's a very immersive piece that demands my attention. And sometimes I don't want to give it because in the back of my head I'm always aware of where I could go.


    Okay, let's talk about the video, animated by Bojack Horseman's Lisa Hanawalt:

    “The song was a response to a number of sudden deaths in our family and my anxiety about mortality,” Sara Quin tells us of the synth-pop ballad. The video explores the “regenerative” aspect of the night, both literally and figuratively. “If you can manage to hang on, you can face another day.”

    Tegan and Sara trusted Hanawalt with full creative direction throughout the process. “When [Lisa] sent me her drawings, I already felt very realized, as if she saw me,” Sara says. Inspired both by moments from Fantasia and traditional folklore, Hanawalt tells the story of a larger-than-life horse who acts as the guardian of the night sky. The video shows the horse waking up the nocturnal creatures, including two cats who are star-crossed lovers, sacrificing themselves to the night. Hanawalt describes the effect as “sad but hopeful because you know the cycle will repeat itself the next night.”

    Sara has always felt a connection to nighttime. When she was a child, the dark was a negative place in which the singer would cry herself to sleep over her anxious thoughts. In adulthood, however, Sara seeks comfort from the night. “I feel anonymous and protected at night,” she says. “It’s a time to absorb and reflect on the day, sorting feelings and experiences.”

    Working on the video was a cathartic experience for both the duo and Hanawalt. ”It feels good to sing something sad,” Sara says. “The words take on a weight that buoys the music, but the melodies and textures of the song feel hopeful.” For her part, Hanawalt found the process “humbling and comforting.”

    The video also encapsulates the song’s quiet optimism. Sara feels the song ultimately captures the positive effects of grappling with anxiety: “Humans are incredibly resilient, and the refrain reminds me of what we are capable of and what we can recover from.”*

    *note to self


    Before we get to the commentary, I wanted to share this incredibly devastating performance of Hang On To The Night the day after the Presidential election. If I end up being half the woman Sara is I'd be happy.

    @Slice of Life (8): "The album seems so short but I love how it ends with this song. Like, it's a proper closure. A proper break-up. I mean, I like mess every now and then but I love how this sounds so final and epic. Like an opinion you can't change no matter how hard you argue and twist your words. I honestly don't know what I'm talking here. This song just gives me an unnecessary tendency to bitch out. I love it." Whatever gets you through the night! @Ferk (10) gives the other voters too much credit: ""Lovers leave and then regret you..." This is another one that's quickly become a huge favorite. It's my go to song if I'm stressed out or I've had a shit day. It's so calming and it always helps me let it go. I love the production and it's a perfect album closer. I feel like it's a little underrated...hopefully a few more people discover it during this rate." While @Petty Mayonnaise (10) shares a video (which I'm not embedding 'cause I need my other four spots sorry)! @digitalkaiser (8): "A great comedown from the epic U-turn, it's not one of my favorites on the album but it's such a high quality song that it kind of doesn’t matter. I think it works better if you are in the mood for it, i love the verses and the delivery is smokey." @constantino (8) is wrong: "As much as I like this…it’s my least favourite on the album and so I wished it closed on a stronger note... possibly 100x or U-Turn, depending on what note they wanted to end on. Overall though, the production is nice and, hey, I still gave it an 8 DDD." I literally can't imagine this album ending either any song but this one. Right @Posh Spears (8)? "Super atmospheric and an excellent album closer." Thank you. Last word to @eccentricsimply (9): "This song is another good one to listen to when you need a few reminders. When you're down for as long as I am sometimes, it's necessary for me to take reminders, even if they are from music, that things are going to get better, that I'm going to get through this. And Hang On To The Night is one of the songs that does it for me."

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  9. eccentricsimply

    eccentricsimply Staff Member

    Now I'm just sad.
  10. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I like how Tegan forces Sara to cuddle during every performance of Hang On To The Night.
    LE0Night and send photo like this.
  11. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    That Hang On To The Night write-up got me like:


    Amazing job there, @ohnostalgia.

    As for @send photo losing his 11:


    Love you.


    I just checked my remaining scores and my lowest score is a 9.25??? YATH! Every elimination is gonna hurt now so lemme prepare my heart in advance. I *need* my 11 to be Top 10 though. Please @God.
  12. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    Aww Hang On To The Night is a LYTD highlight.

    LE0Night likes this.
  13. I actually would only allow Boyfriend and U-turn in the top 10. I know there will be more, but I do not mind the order of these LYTD tracks.
    Jwentz likes this.
  14. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Jwentz, Slice of Life and send photo like this.
  15. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    sara: oh thank you so much, you guys have been just wonderful. thank you for being so enthusiastic. uh this is going to be our "last song" and um i'd like to take this opportunity to not only tell you how much fun we've had, but also to tell you that we look forward to playing for you again in the future. *to tegan* how was that for inflection, did you like it?

    tegan: it was a bit better.

    sara: a little bit better? ... seriously, we will now play this last song and then we will walk awkwardly off stage and come back to play a few more, but until that time happens i'll be thinking fondly of you and if you feel comfortable you can sing along to this one 'cause i think everyone knows it and it's fun to sing. and uh even though there are times where i feel like it's sick because it's a song i wrote about a very serious thing- not uh not serious like a car accident or std - but like serious like you know just having a-

    *tegan plays the keyboard*

    sara: i wouldn't describe either of those with that melody, but yeah... they're more like, can you play something more like anxiety?

    tegan: i only know the things i use as a- *plays* i already played it so, one trick pony.

    sara: anyways i wrote the song about not feeling totally great and uh about being a-

    tegan: this is totally a downer for the end of the show.

    sara: i know. FUCK OFF TEGAN!!!!

    tegan: alrighty.

    sara: you're driving me insane tonight. you know when people are like, the press will be like "ooh do you play it up that you're sisters?" and i'm like "fuck you. fuck off. fucking die." but then in this moment i'm like "i hate you."

    tegan: my skin feels so dry right now.

    sara: yeah? okay fucking who cares what this song is about, here we go!


    #12. White Knuckles 8.60

    10.00 x 5 @constantino @LA Hallucinations @ohnostalgia @Petty Mayonnaise @Posh Spears
    LOW: 5.00 x 1 @Sprockrooster

    ALBUM: Love You To Death
    WRITER: Sara

    I'm still very shaken up after the devastating results in the Big Pop Girls rate, so excuse me if I seem distracted. At least I have the faith of knowing that these ladies would've given Formation their 11 if they could vote. Okay, I need to pull myself together because this song deserves respect. Let's start with a quote from our dear Tegan:

    "Even though I didn’t write this song, I think it’s really funny that’s it’s about Sara and I’s relationship as siblings and some of the darker, harder parts of our career. I had no idea, so when Sara sent it to me, I was just like, Woooow. You know, marveling. Because Sara’s such a lyricist, she just has this way with words. The song’s so sad and I was just imagining Sara writing, feeling sad, and maybe thinking about some past relationship. Then I started relating it to me and what relationships I had been through. Then two months later, when we started talking about the meanings of the song in the press, Sara was like, “Oh yeah, I wrote this song about Tegan and I, the toughest part of our career, and how I felt trapped being in a band with her.” And I just thought, Wow, what an idiot I am. [Laughs] Like, okay, cool, no wonder it resonated with me so much because it was about me! You know, when we get into the studio, I don’t need to be sold on a song. So I never have thought to ask Sara what she’s writing about. I feel like I know what’s going on in her life, her relationships, how she’s doing. She’s happy, she’s in this committed, loving relationship of five years and they have cats, so I just assumed she was writing about the past — and I was sort of right. She was writing about our past. It’s weird, we’ve just never talked about it."

    my life tethered like
    like a twin or a son
    scared to be severed right
    right before we begun
    doubled like a couple, we stood
    stood out in the light, light
    clutching each other like
    knuckles turned white, white​

    "One Christmas, when the sisters were three, their parents gave them a Fisher-Price tape recorder. They'd tape a few minutes of themselves singing or telling a story, then play it back over and over. 'They were enthralled with the sound of their own voices,' Sonia says. The only problem was, there was only one recorder. Naturally they started fighting over it. "That," says Sonia, "was the beginning of their music career."

    our love twisted up
    like a chain or an eight
    we square angles that
    that always will ache
    excuses for the bruises we wear
    black and blue now, now
    breaking each other like
    knuckles in a fight, fight​

    "There are times when I wish they wouldn't do it," says their mom. For one thing, they argue a lot- even over the little stuff. Especially over the little stuff. (Chris Walla, diplomatically, calls them hyperdemocratic)... The real fights are even worse- vicious no holds barred rehashings of insults and missteps stretching back nearly three decades. "We say all the things that you think during an argument but would never ever say to the person you love," says Sara.

    I cried wolf
    howled it at the moon
    so luck be damned
    break that mirror in two
    I made us feel
    feel unlucky too
    so luck be damned
    break that mirror in two​

    "Tegan and I," she says, "were meant to be scientifically, one thing. We accidentally split, and there's an incompleteness that comes with that. I feel like I'm walking around with a little bit less than what I was supposed to be given." .. Tegan's view is decidedly more spiritual: "I think we chose to come back together, " she says, "Whether this is our first life or our hundredth, our souls chose to do this together."

    cry, cry wolf
    I don't know what this howling will prove
    cry, cry wolf
    I don't know what I'm gon, what I'm gonna lose

    "One of my cousins got married recently," she says. "And as she was telling me she knew she'd found the person she wanted to be with her whole life- like 'we'll grow old together, we'll learn, we'll have the same goals, the same needs, you can count on me' - I had this really spooky moment, both sad and kind of happy: that's Tegan for me. Because that relationship transcends any relationship I could have with any other human being. We were conceived in the same womb, and we look the same, and we've formed this bond together- we have this intrinsic connection. And I will unconditionally love her, and hate her, until the end of time. Maybe, she says, I don't believe in soulmates because I already have one."


    And another:

    TEGAN It’s funny, because when Sara wrote both those songs [“100x” and “White Knuckles”], I was in the room and I had no idea that she was writing about our relationship, so I’m kind of like everybody else.

    SARA I can feel her awkwardness sometimes when I’m talking about our relationship publicly, but I also feel like it was a huge part of my identity and my growth as a person, and I’ve never written about it. It helps that Tegan and I are in a really good place. I feel incredibly proud of what we were able to overcome because it was dark. And we got through it.

    Sara Quin: queen of writing about her twin in an emotionally bleak mid tempo without being caught. When will your fave?​

    What better way to open up commentary for an emotional song than with @Petty Mayonnaise (10): "The distorted vocals at the beginning and throughout sound like “dumpster dive” and it’s all I can think of whenever I listen to this, which is a shame, because it’s a really gorgeous song." @digitalkaiser (7) is indecisive: "I like this song in concept, I’m not sure how I feel about it though. I’ve listened to this one a few times during this rating because I kind of really enjoy it but something seems off about it for me. It feels very different for them." Well they were running through the woods when recording this, cut them some slack! Let's get back on track with @Posh Spears (10): "Gorgeous and a bit heart shattering! It even grabbed LYTD hater @Jwentz (9): "This one snuck up on me and is now a complete favorite, once I got past the production the emotion behind the song hit me." But resident snake @Slice of Life (9.25) says otherwise: "Sublime production. Very Jack Antonoff mixed with Lorde-y lyrics. Of course, I am here for that." @eccentricsimply (9) is all about our ladies: "Another great song about their relationship," while @Sprockrooster (5) gives us this totally nonsensical comment: "I hate it when I take a cake out of the oven and the whole thing sinks in." ... you gave Sorry a 0. I don't care what you think. Let's end with @constantino (10): "‘I cried wolf, howled it at the moon’ is quite possible their best hook ever?? Surely? I mean it’s certainly up there. This encapsulated how it is possible to ‘go pop’ AND grow artistically. The reason why I gave a lot of their earlier songs 7s is because despite being great songs, they didn’t quite ~get there~…this gets there."

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  16. Slice of Life

    Slice of Life Staff Member

    I have been finally exposed as the Taylor Swift of the forum.

    send photo likes this.
  17. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Not good enough.
    send photo likes this.
  18. Me bopping to this LY2D cull.

  19. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I'm planning to do another elimination tonight for reasons that will ultimately become clear.
    LE0Night and send photo like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.