‘The Con X: Covers’: Tegan & Sara Enlist Cyndi Lauper, Grimes, CHVRCHES & More to Reinterpret Their Record, 10 Years Later
Tegan & Sara, everyone’s favorite Canadian identical twin lesbian singer-songwriters, are doing something special to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their 2007 record, The Con.
As opposed to a reissue with some bonus tracks and rough takes tacked on (they’ve already done the demos thing once, anyway), the duo’s gone and recruited an assortment of talented musicians to cover each Con song, track-by-track, including Cyndi Lauper, Grimes, Hayley Williams, Sara Bareilles, Shura, Mykki Blanco, Bleachers, MUNA and Ryan Adams.
Not only that, but proceeds from the album will go to Tegan & Sara’s newly launched foundation, created to provide support to programs that empower self-identified women and girls in the LGBTQ community. Every artist featured on this project is either an ally or LGBTQ themselves, and all the artists’ labels generously agreed to waive their fees in order to support the cause.
The (even more) queer touch added to The Con ten years later is, actually, extremely relevant to my own experience with the record. (AKA: I’m a gay man, so let me make this about me.)
The Con will always have a special, angst-y place in my heart as one of the many records that soundtracked my Longest Relationship To Date™ with my First Love during the very impressionable stretch of time from 17 to 21.
My ex introduced me to Tegan & Sara and Peaches and CSS and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs among other certifiably ‘cool’ acts (“their older stuff is better,” of course), while I graciously provided an expert knowledge of global pop royalty. (Our mix CDs were eclectic, to say the least.)
Plenty of these songs — especially “Nineteen,” oof — trigger major nostalgia; memories of staring at the ceiling in bed together and night drives around the suburbs going nowhere in comfortable silence. (Relationship tip: you can get away with wordlessly listening to music with somebody for hours without feeling weird when you’ve found the right one.)
The album’s out on October 20. That’s quite the coincidence, as it also happens to be my ex’s birthday. (And no, this #SomethingMorePersonal tangent isn’t me being hung up on my ex, I can assure you – our story is for a different day. Maybe even a book. Sometimes the stars just align in funny ways.)
The first taste of Tegan & Sara’s upcoming covers collection premiered on Monday (September 18) — and it comes from CHVRCHES.
While the Scottish synth-pop outfit are best known for sharp synths crashing against Lauren Mayberry‘s urgent and searing voice, this cover of “Call It Off” presents the troupe in an entirely different, vastly dreamier haze.
Unexpectedly, it’s a slow-burner — less “Bury It,” more Imogen Heap and Say Lou Lou. It’s gorgeous, and — as is partly the intention of this project — breathes new life into the now decade-old song.
Pre-orders for The Con X: Covers begin today (September 19) on their website, and you can check out the track listing below.
1. Ruth B. – I Was Married
2. MUNA – Relief Next to Me
3. Shura – The Con
4. Mykki Blanco – Knife Going In
5. PVRIS – Are You Ten Years Ago
6. Ryan Adams – Back in Your Head
7. City and Colour – Hop a Plane
8. Kelly Lee Owens – Soil, Soil
9. Bleachers – Burn Your Life Down
10. Hayley Williams of Paramore – Nineteen
11. Sara Bareilles – Floorplan
12. Shamir – Like O, Like H
13. Trashique (GRIMES X HANA) – Dark Come Soon
14. CHVRCHES – Call it Off
Digital Bonus Tracks:
15. Cyndi Lauper – Back in Your Head (Bonus Track)
16. Bleached – One Second (Bonus Track)
17. Vivek Shraya – I Take All the Blame (Bonus Track)
18. Tegan and Sara – Miami Still (Bonus Track Demo)
The Con X: Covers will be released on October 20.