The playlist titled “Gay Pride Month powered by Tegan and Sara” includes some of the artists’ favorite songs that also happen to be primarily created and performed by LGBT artists to celebrate this very special month. The timing of the Spotify playlist coincides with another special celebration for the sisters—the release of their eighth studio album and second pop album, Love You to Death, out today.
The stars truly aligned around the release of Tegan and Sara’s Spotify playlist, says Coca-Cola Music Manager Yuri Pereira. In a meeting with Warner Bros. Records a few weeks back, the Coke Music team expressed interest in partnering with relevant artists for special occasions. When the idea of celebrating LGBT Pride Month came to the table, the conversation organically led to working with Tegan and Sara, who are both openly gay and active members in the community.
“When people talk about music they love, they think about a moment in time,” says Pereira. “Our goal for our Spotify channel is to give artists a platform to connect with fans and how they’re feeling at that time. That’s why we’re creating specific playlists to fit any mood our fans are in and every occasion they’re taking part in. For this occasion, June is a special month for the LGBT community… and through Coke Music we’re able to celebrate the community with artists who are passionate about it."
We caught up with Sara to chat about their new album release, their first Coke Music Spotify playlist and her personal connection to LGBT Pride Month and the gay community at large.
What can fans expect from your new album?
[Love You to Death] is our second album as a pop band. We sort of took a swing at that change of sound and production in our last one, and this album is a real continuation. We’re trying to have fun with it and in a way reinvent ourselves. I think it’s still an emotional record, it’s certainly a more introspective record about our identity as sisters, and as people, and in relationships now in our 30s… but I think the big emphasis is that it’s really our record.
Any favorite song(s) on Love You to Death?
We try to make sure that all songs on an album are songs that we really believe in terms of lyrics and melodies. We approach an album like… Okay, what if we have to play these ten songs for the rest of our lives?’ We want a message that we can stand behind and that can evolve with you.
I think the lead single, “Boyfriend”, is a playful pop song. But I think that it catches on beat the complexity of relationships and gender roles within relationships, and that sort of stressful time before you are exclusively dating someone. It’s obviously not a new message in pop music, but I think potentially it’s a new take or new version of that, so I’m really proud of that song in particular.
What excites you most about the Gay Pride Month Spotify playlist?
One thing I do feel really excited about is thinking about artists who are queer or artists who are embraced as queer-friendly artists, that’s an easy one for me. For a long time there were so few, so I really thought those ones out and I really thought about people who are in the same world as we are. Even if they are totally different and maybe they didn’t even mean for their songs to be anthems for me and the people in my community. I like to be able to think about artists and songs that can be a sound track to a lot of people who are queer and who live alternative lifestyles.
Many members of the LGBT look up to you because of your support for the community. How does that influence your perspective as a musician and role model?
Since the beginning of our career, there have been some really amazing people who have inspired us and who have supported us by also being out, transparent, really comfortable and able to talk about their identities while also making art.
The big thing for us is… when we were growing up, there weren’t a lot of people in our age group who mirrored what we were or what we cared about. Even if we don’t represent everyone in the queer community as someone they identify with or our music is not what they identify with, our message is just, ‘Hey, everything doesn’t have to be super heteronormative. Everything doesn’t have to be one kind of person or one kind of style.’ We can’t represent everyone musically or politically but it’s just nice to be able to talk about what is to me, a very special and unique identity in the world.
Right now, there are so many cool artists who I know and who are gay and we’re all kind of walking that line where we’re like, ‘Okay, we’re just making songs’… we’re not a political band you know, but we’re really political people so we sort of feel like we walk that line. We have a lot of interesting stories and experiences so I do like to talk about it but people can also just listen to us no matter what they think or know about our identity.
As a passionate member of the gay community, what does celebrating LGBT Pride Month mean to you personally?
Even though things have become more mainstream and not as big of a deal as they used to be, there are still a lot of places in the world where it’s a massive deal and people don’t talk about it. I think we can never underestimate how important these conversations are and how they filter down to the general public and then how those people influence and make change that might filter to other countries.
I try to have fun and enjoy when I’m participating in these certain pride events or visibility campaigns around being gay, but it’s 50 percent fun and then 50 percent of me being like we should still outraged about this issue or that issue… We still need this visibility because so many people are still invisible.
Tegan and Sara will officially launch their album tonight June 3, at 7pm PST at Urban Outfitters in Los Angeles. Follow the release on their Twitter feed.
More About Tegan and Sara
Twin sisters born in Calgary, Alberta and now residing in Vancouver, BC, Tegan and Sara’s 17-year career numbers are impressive – over 1 million albums sold, seven Gold certifications, one Double Platinum certification, three Juno Awards, two Polaris Prize nominations, and a Grammy nomination. But even more impressive is the conviction that has driven Tegan and Sara’s relentless evolution as artists. Transitioning from acoustic roots to indie rock royalty in the mid 2000s, with widely-acclaimed albums So Jealous (2004) and The Con (2007), they began the path of reinvention that continues to inform their creative identity today and is captured in their latest album Love You to Death (2016).
Want to see Tegan and Sara live? Check out their tour dates here: http://teganandsara.com/shows/
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