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Time After Time
While preparing for our upcoming tour, I went down a rabbit hole watching videos of us on YouTube. It started with a simple search for performances of us covering other people’s songs. The first one that popped up surprised me because I have no recollection of it. The absence of memory allowed me to experience it entirely as a viewer. There must have been a discussion about which song to cover, rehearsals to prepare, and of course, the day of the taping itself. All of which, I cannot recall in any detail at all.
It makes sense that my brain can no longer store everything that we've done in our career. That most of these gaps in memory correlate with not watching a recorded performance is reassuring. Unlike childhood photographs or video artifacts that I’ve studied and adored throughout my life, it is incredibly rare that I can tolerate seeing myself on screen singing. What is easily searchable in the public domain may seem disproportionately exciting when compared to the smaller, more private of my recollections. But I prefer my version of the story.
There is something impossible to capture about live performance: the physical space, the movement of sound through the air, the energetic reciprocity between artist and audience. I’m not immune to the kind of vanity that plagues most people when hearing themselves recorded, and I am just as scrutinizing of my appearance as most. Even as I watched this video, a familiar inner voice continued to interrupt: "Crooked teeth, lopsided face, what are you wearing?" There is also a layer of memory stirred back into consciousness. Not entirely unpleasant, but disruptive nonetheless.
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The Tiny Desk Concert, which I’d been tremendously excited about, was forever tainted by the fact that we recorded the session in DC, on Nov 7th, 2016. The world felt irrevocably changed, by the time the performance was released a few weeks later.
There is something easier about watching myself guesting on another artist’s song. Unlike the Billboard video, I remember a lot about this time in my life. I was lovesick, and Chris’s songs were haunted. I was just beginning to test the boundaries of working outside of Tegan and Sara, as a writer and producer.
And then, the video I needed, without knowing I needed it when I first started my search. I struggle with what acoustic material to play in our VIP soundcheck parties, and here was a mash-up of two of my favorites, recorded beautifully by Shaun Huberts during the pandemic at the historic Warehouse Studios in Vancouver. Our hair is so long, and we look rested.