Tegan And Sara – Alligator Remix Album Review

Somehow, REDEFINE had unwillingly gotten a subscription to SPIN Magazine last year, and I was recently perusing it when I stumbled across something really hilarious and ridiculous; SPIN had a “[15] Songs You Must Hear Now!” section, and numbers two, three, and four were various incarnations of Yeasayer’s “Ambling Alp.” Talk about hyping a band. I was convinced that the editors at SPIN would have ousted Freelance Whales’ number one spot and actually put Yeasayer as numbers one, two, and three, but they’d felt too bashful about it. I mean, they have pretend like they have some unbiased standards, right?

Well, let’s parallel that with Tegan And Sara’s latest Alligator LP. Apparently, remixes have reached the heights of popularity where you can now release a 17-track album, with 16 of the tracks dedicated to remixes of the same song. In this case, Alligator is dedicated completely to, well, “Alligator” off the duo’s last album, Sainthood. And I guess when you enlist the help of heavy-hitters like Passion Pit, Holy Fuck, Four Tet, Toro Y Moi, and Ra Ra Riot, you can do that, and it’s okay. The scariest part, though, is that if I were to be compiling a top tracks you should download list, I might even include three of the remixes off of Alligator on that list. That’s how good these remixes are — well, some of them, anyway.


The remixes on Alligator cover a lot of musical ground, for sure; that’s probably the only way such an LP is possible in the first place. But even with the diversity, it gets a little boring to sit through in its entirety. Who cares, though? I’m convinced the purpose of an album such as this is not purely the album’s standalone quality, but rather its potential to be viral. If used correctly, it can give individuals who might never have been interested in Tegan And Sara before the unique opportunity of latching onto remixes by other artists they respect. If I were Sire Records, what I would do is offer absolutely all of the MP3’s for free, with each MP3 featured on a different outlet so that fans really have to peck and hunt to find the whole album. As a result, they’d be spending a good portion of their time focused on Tegan And Sara, resulting in an interesting Easter egg hunt of sorts (and what good timing for that, too!). The name Tegan And Sara would be permanently stuck in their head, and the act of listening to the remixes would be rendered that much more special. But that’s just me, and I digress. Let’s talk about the music.

Holy Fuck and Passion Pit’s remixes start the album off with an ’80s vibe — one which reemerges here and there throughout Alligator. Other remixers take a more traditional electronic route, with VHS Or Beta’s remix verging on club trance cheesiness, Hi-Deaf’s remix harboring an underlying beat a bit reminiscent of the opening of “Funkytown,” and Morgan Page’s remix wholly embracing house beats.

Standouts, in my book, include the Holy Fuck opener, as well as Four Tet’s minimalistic take, Ra Ra Riot’s airy manipulation, and Dave Sitek’s quirky offering. There are other noteworthy submissions, including the trancey Kevin St. Croix remix, and Sara’s original lo-fi demo of “Alligator” is a welcome reprieve from all the bells and whistles found on the rest of the album. Still, though, I’m way too tired of writing about the same song to continue listing out the details of each individual remix. Alligator is a recommended listen; even if the whole thing isn’t appealing to you, at least parts of it will be.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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