Published Sep 30, 2019While compiling research for their new memoir, High School, Tegan and Sara found cassette tapes of songs they wrote and recorded between the ages of 15 and 17. These tracks are the foundation of their 20-year career and, together with their memoir, help to tell the origin story of this trailblazing act.
Tegan and Sara reworked these raw tracks for their ninth album, Hey, I'm Just Like You. They cut and pasted sections of the original songs, added a few lyrics, and, surrounded by an all-female band and production team (a first for a Tegan and Sara record), they designed new soundscapes that range from synth-pop ("We Don't Have Fun When We're Together Anymore") to pop punk ("I'll Be Back Someday") to folk ("Please Help Me").
Understandably, Hey, I'm Just Like You has melodramatic flourishes, but a more permanent fixture of the album is the poignancy of its lyrics. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, Sara, pointing to the candidness of their lyrics, said, "This music proves that, even at 15 years old, you have something important to say." On the closer "All I Have to Give the World Is Me," the maturation of Tegan and Sara's lyrics is really apparent when they detail the anxious process of figuring out your identity: "Staring down my two halves in the glass feels like a heart attack. Telling me to choose one or the other, I get so panicked."
Hey, I'm Just Like You is an emotive and catchy pop record, but for Tegan and Sara, it's more than that: it's a message to fans to let them know they are not alone in their struggles. In the glitchy title track, the heart of the record is illuminated when Tegan sings, "Hey, I'm just like you. A little messed up and blue." (Sire)