Tegan and Sara – “BWU” (Singles Going Steady)

Steve Horowitz: This bit of ear candy begs to be put on repeat. The sweetness never gets cloying. Heck, this could be early ’60 Ricky Nelson with just a few changes. The video creatively illustrates the sentiments without ever devolving into sappiness. The search for true love finds its outlet in TV shows like Married at First Sight, but who needs expert help when one can just grab a ring and search for a willing partner on life’s journey. Apparently BWU stands for “Be Without You”, but the song insists the opposite is true. We all need someone to love. A wedding is not necessary. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: If the Singles Going Steady reviews I’ve been assigned over the past several months are any indication, Tegan and Sara are one of many, many contemporary acts mining the ’80s for inspiration. Musically speaking, “BWU” is all plastic synths and dinky drum machines, but it’s all in the service of a gorgeous, heartfelt love song. The shimmering vocals work perfectly with the John Hughes soundtrack vibe, and the hooks — particularly in the soaring chorus — are plentiful. I feel like I just stepped back to 1983 and switched on MTV. [8/10]

Pryor Stroud: One of the standout tracks from June’s spectacular Love You to Death, “BWU” is a scintillating synthpop paean for romantic fidelity and monogamous fixation, for the bliss that marriage promises and ultimately pollutes. It may be crafted from the most basic elements of the genre — Vince Clarke-like synth bubbles, cascading bass-droplets, and sprawling, reverb-soaked choruses — but, viewed from above, it sounds unequivocally modern. This is a song about love repudiating tradition, rejecting exaltation, and finally embracing the mortal yet life-affirming constancy it’s always contained. “Save your first and last dance for me / I don’t need a white wedding”, the chorus begins, Sara’s voice saturated both with passion and submission to the future that this passion dictates, and as she ushers the song into its climax, you can hear her tear off the veil that she once thought represented love at its zenith. [9/10]

Jordan Blum: The video feels very retro; it would’ve fit well in the late ’80s or early ’90s, as there were a lot of videos like this (singer addressing the camera in-between shots of him/her walking around town, defeated and/or happy). I like the simplicity of it, too. Musically, it’s catchy, but the fusion of electronica and pop isn’t anything special. [7/10]

Chad Miller: Pretty good song. The melody is really pretty even if it sounds overproduced at times. There were some really pretty lyrics too like “I don’t need a lock to prove that you trust me.” Some of the lyrics seemed to clash with the whole here-and-now, simple description of the relationship though. The lines about the little things were really sweet, but then the big declarations of saving your first and last dance/born came barging in and undermined everything else. [7/10]

SCORE: 8.00