Although diehard fans of The Lego Movie are disappointed that the animated comedy didn’t make the best animated film category during this morning’s Academy Awards nominations announcement, the film did score a best original song nod for its chirpy anthem “Everything Is Awesome.” Performed by Tegan and Sara featuring the Lonely Island, the song was co-produced by Devo‘s Mark Mothersbaugh and written by Shawn Patterson, the latter of whom will compete for the gold at the Feb. 22 ceremony.
The insanely upbeat track does not exactly fit into the nuanced indie-pop catalogue of Tegan & Sara, but that’s what attracted the veteran sister duo toward the project, the group’s Sara Quin told Billboard when the song debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart last February.
“We want to be a ‘serious’ musical band, while also being funny people,” said Quin. “But this was so adorable, and the movie looked great, and the opportunity to do something with Mark Mothersbaugh and the Lonely Island… it was sort of a no-brainer, and it’s turned out to be this really cool moment. We feel like it was a win-win.”
Tegan & Sara signed on to record “Everything Is Awesome” after hearing an early version of Patterson’s song, which didn’t yet have the Lonely Island delivering the rap breakdown. Although the duo typically writes its lyrics, the song’s cleverness and catchiness pushed Tegan & Sara to cut vocals for a new version of the “Awesome” song.
“It’s a crazy earworm,” said Quin. “As someone who prides myself on being able to write things that are memorable and hooky, the second that we heard this song, I was astounded. Whether you like the song or not, whether you think it’s funny or annoying, there’s no denying that it’s a ridiculously hooky thing. As soon as you hear it, it never leaves your brain.”
Quin said that her sister Tegan went into the studio with Mothersbaugh — the leader of Devo who composed music for films like 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — to record the song’s main vocals, while Sara sent in backing vocals from her apartment. Although the pair was never in the studio with the Lonely Island, Quin said that the final product is a “fun, spontaneous” combination of their pop stylings and the Andy Samberg troupe’s off-the-wall antics.
Tegan & Sara recently released a 10th anniversary deluxe edition of their 2004 breakout album So Jealous, and Tegan Quin recently told Billboard that the duo is “absolutely gonna write and record a record” in 2015. Meanwhile, “Everything Is Awesome” will compete against “Glory” from Selma, “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me at next months’ Oscars.