Sainthood (album)

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Tegan and Sara - Sainthood cover.jpg
Studio album by Tegan and Sara
Released 27 October 2009 (2009-10-27)
Recorded Summer 2009
Studio Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, California and Two Sticks Audio, Seattle, Washington, United States
Genre Indie pop, indie rock
Length 36:55
Language English
Label Sire
Producer Chris Walla, Howard Redekopp
Tegan and Sara chronology
The Con
Singles from Sainthood
  1. "Hell"
    Released: 2 October 2009
  2. "Alligator"
    Released: 26 October 2009

Sainthood is the sixth studio album by the Canadian rock duo Tegan and Sara, released on 27 October 2009, by Sire Records.

The album was a shortlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.[1]


This is the first album by Tegan and Sara to feature a song co-written by the pair, as they usually choose to write separately. However, it was not written while Tegan and Sara stayed together in New Orleans as an attempt to write together. No songs from that time made it on to the album, although one such song lends its title to that of the record. The album title was inspired by a Leonard Cohen lyric. The record also includes co-written songs from Tegan's side project with Hunter Burgan, bassist of AFI.

The album is described by the band as such:[2]

Tegan and Sara's sixth studio album – Sainthood – addresses secular themes of devotion, delusion, and exemplary behavior in the pursuit of love and relationships. Inspired by emotional longing and the quiet actions we hope may be noticed by the objects of our affection, Sainthood is about obsession with romantic ideals.

In the service of relationships we practice being perfect. We practice our sainthood in the hope that we will be rewarded with adoration. As we are driven to become anything for someone else, we sometimes become martyrs for our cause.

Love, like faith, can never be held in an individual's hands. But the story of a great love affair – especially one that is unrequited or has ended too soon – can be woven like scripture or a bedtime story. And so the themes of Sainthood are tied together by this simple title, borrowed, with great respect, from the lyrics of the Leonard Cohen song "Came So Far for Beauty":

I practiced all my sainthood / I gave to one and all / But the rumours of my virtue / They moved her not at all.

Sainthood was released in the UK on 26 October 2009.[3]

The album was produced by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla and was tracked at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and Two Sticks Audio in Seattle during the summer of 2009.

Tegan and Sara released the full album for online streaming on their MySpace page on 20 October 2009.

EE Storey, the band's artistic director, designed the album artwork.

When speaking with Alter the Press! in November 2009, the band revealed that the second single to be lifted from Sainthood would be "Alligator".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
Alter the Press! 5/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club A−[7]
Pitchfork Media 7.3/10[8]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[9]
Robert Christgau A−[10]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[11]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[12]
Spin 4/5 stars[13]

The album was generally well received by critics, scoring 78 out of 100 from 17 reviews on review aggregator Metacritic.[14]

The album debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200, selling 22,665 copies in its first week.[15]

Their song "Hell" came in at number 99 on the Australian Triple J Hottest 100 in 2009.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tegan Quin and Sara Quin, except where noted[17].

No. Title Length
1. "Arrow" 3:06
2. "Don't Rush" (T. Quin, S. Quin, Hunter Burgan) 2:43
3. "Hell" (T. Quin, S. Quin, Burgan) 3:24
4. "On Directing" 2:46
5. "Red Belt" 2:11
6. "The Cure" (T. Quin, S. Quin, Burgan) 3:22
7. "Northshore" 2:04
8. "Night Watch" 2:33
9. "Alligator" 2:42
10. "Paperback Head" 2:38
11. "The Ocean" 3:06
12. "Sentimental Tune" 3:23
13. "Someday" 2:57
Total length: 36:55
Bonus tracks
iTunes deluxe edition
No. Title Length
14. "Wrists" 2:48
15. "Light Up" 2:19
Total length: 42:02
iTunes preorder edition
No. Title Length
16. "It Was Midnight" 2:03
Total length: 44:05



As of December 2013, Sainthood has sold 115,000 copies in the United States.[18]

Chart (2009) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 4
Australian Albums Chart[20] 21
Billboard 200 21


  1. ^ Thompson, Ciaran (September 20, 2010). "Karkwa win 2010 Polaris Music Prize". Aux. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Tegan and Sara biography" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Ableson, Jon (2009-08-20). "Tegan And Sara Confirm UK Release Date". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  4. ^ Ableson, Jon (2009-08-20). "Interview: Tegan and Sara". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  5. ^ Sendra, Tim (2009-10-27). "Sainthood - Tegan and Sara : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  6. ^ Ableson, Jon (2009-08-20). "Album Review: Tegan and Sara - Sainthood". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  7. ^ Noel Murray (October 27, 2009). "Sainthood". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Tegan and Sara: Sainthood | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  9. ^ Gudino, Mariana. "Tegan and Sara: Sainthood < PopMatters". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  10. ^ "CG: tegan and sara". Robert Christgau. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  11. ^ "Rolling Stone Music | Album Reviews". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  12. ^ "Tegan and Sara - Sainthood review". Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Tegan and Sara, 'Sainthood' (Vapor/Sire)". SPIN. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  14. ^ Sainthood reviews at, Metacritic. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  15. ^ Hits Daily Double - US Top 50 Albums - BuzzJack Music Forum, BuzzJack. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  16. ^ "Countdown | Hottest 100 - 2009 | triple j". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  17. ^ Sainthood (CD). Tegan and Sara. Sire Records. 2009. 531124-2. 
  18. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (December 16, 2013). "Tegan and Sara On Future Music: 'We Have More To Explore With The Pop Genre'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ John Williams (2009-11-04). "CANOE - JAM! Music - Artists - Jackson, Michael : Jackson rules Cdn. album charts". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  20. ^ "Top 50 Albums Chart - Australian Record Industry Association". Retrieved 2012-03-08.