Optimism and hard work takes you far in life, and fast — just ask Dear Rouge.
This Vancouver-based synth-rock duo band officially launched in 2012, and they’ve devoted their lives to their music ever since. The band consists of members Danielle and Drew McTaggart, who met prior to forming of the band and married in 2011.
Despite being a mere two years old, Dear Rouge has won the radio Grand Prize Summit Award and the Shore 104 Best of BC award, both for which 20 B.C.
They’ve also released two EPs so far: Heads Up! Watch Out! and Kids Wanna Know in 2012. The band’s EPs were successful and led them to work with acclaimed Canadian producers Gavin Brown and Howard Redekopp on their upcoming album, Black To Gold.
The band’s achievements are majorly due to the couple’s motivation.
“We’re so grateful,” Drew said. “We feel that we worked so hard for our success, and when we started gaining recognition it was very satisfying. All the work we’ve put into our debut album is starting to flourish now.
“[The producers] showed us a different level of the Canadian music industry, and it was cool to get their take on our music.”
At the moment, Dear Rouge is on tour and plans to release their new album in early 2015. According to Drew, the new album will be a more intricate, fleshed-out dialogue compared to the past EPs.
“This [album] is way more planned — I like to think of it as a longer conversation,” Drew said. “EPs are like having quick conversations whereas on a full album we do some songs we wouldn’t do before, so there’s a lot more diversity.”
The singer said they’ve noticed that mainstream singles on albums aren’t necessarily always the most popular among fans, and slow songs for bands are key. For this album, they were able to expand their musical range owing to a bigger budget and extended production time.
Working together as husband and wife throughout these endeavours has proved to be both positive and negative for the duo.
“The fact that we get to travel together and be together full time, and we have this extra connection together, is really cool,” Drew said. “But music is really all-consuming and it takes over your whole life, so sometimes because we’re husband and wife we’re brutally honest with each other.
“Sometimes the hardest thing for us in the studio is writing songs, because we both care so much about it and clash over that.”
He’s proud of the fact that it’s not always easy, Drew said. They’re both invested in the music and as long as they continue to get better at working together, the difference of opinion is fine.
Dear Rouge has learned to set goals and work diligently to achieve them. It seems to be working, considering the fact that they’re about to add a full debut album to their list of accomplishments.
“Danielle and I like to set goals together, as a married couple,” Drew said. “We’ve taken a step back and looked at how amazing this has all been. We both feel, right now, that there’s some big stuff ahead of us.”
Dear Rouge performs at the Mansion on Dec. 5.
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