Tegan & Sara
have spent the past 13-plus years writing and performing their brand of earnest guitar pop to what has grown to become a pretty sizeable fan base.
However, the twin sisters, who have done time opening for Neil Young and release music on a major label, have managed to maintain the type of cult following that’s generally garnered by a band half their size. This can mostly be attributed to their hearts-on-their-sleeves lyrics and the personal relationship they continue to engage in with fans, including designing much of their own merchandise and making sure every tour and show is special. Sure, Tegan & Sara write undeniably catchy songs, but a lot of their success and longevity can be attributed to their loyal fans, and they know it.
Get Along, the Canadian duo’s new CD/DVD package, is presented as a reward to those that have stuck by their side all these years. Fans get a personal look at the band on the road over two separate documentaries, and a live DVD and CD find the band playing an intimate show before family and friends in a Vancouver studio.
The 15-track live album is a testament to what a polished act they have become. The stripped-down and mostly acoustic versions of their stronger songs, like “Alligator” from 2009’s Sainthood and “I Won’t Be Left” from 2004’s So Jealous, play with more emotional charge than their album-cut counterparts, while “I Hear Noises” and “Relief Next to Me” showcase the sisters’ uncanny prowess for writing infectious, hook-heavy pop music.
Over the course of 75 minutes, the songs start to bleed together a bit, and the strummed guitar chords and similar subject matter begin to grow stale. “Knife Going In” is clearly heartfelt but lacks structure, and by that point in the record, one starts to wish that they would write songs about something other than their ex-lovers.
But imperfections and the occasional lack of focus aside, Get Along is a thoughtful gift to their fans, who will no doubt cherish it.
Essential Tracks: “Alligator”, “Relief Next to Me”