In an epic return to form, alt-rockers Dear Rouge dropped their infectious single “Fake Fame” back in September, the first track from their new album due out in 2022. The track has rocketed up the Alternative radio chart and cracked the Top 10 in less than a month.
While “Fake Fame” continues to dominate on radio, Dear Rouge are sharing another new track with fans. Where “Fake Fame” is fierce and bold, “Life Goes By And I Can’t Keep Up” is delicate and understated, laying bare the duo’s emotions with power and clarity. The track features both Danielle and Drew sharing lead vocals. “Life Goes By And I Can’t Keep Up” is one of the band’s most vulnerable and reveals a more mature and refined band. Reflecting on how the song came to fruition, Danielle McTaggart says:
“The song came to us when we were at our friend Brendan Canning’s (of Broken Social Scene) house after a semi-successful writing session at a studio nearby. He invited us over to his beautiful heritage home in downtown Toronto for a hang. Of course, we couldn’t refuse. Surrounded by his impressive record collection and our bellies perfectly full of pizza and wine, I sat down at his upright piano. As I played and enjoyed the vibe, the riff in the chorus and the words just came right out. “Life goes by and I can’t keep up,” I kept singing it over and over. Right away Drew picked up an acoustic and Brendan chimed in with some amazing guidance, the song’s structure, and it all just kind of happened. We knew we had something special from that evening on.
We ended up writing the rest of the tune at our cabin at Cultus Lake. The verse lyrics were interesting to write, because we talked about situations in our own lives. Feelings and times of nostalgia that we didn’t want to end, or so badly wanted to end. Sometimes it seems like life is going forward and you are stuck with all the unanswered questions or times you wish could go back to. Years can go by in a flash and you wonder what happened to all that time. This was our vulnerable side on that, almost a journal of how we often feel after a long weekend with friends, or right after a call from a doctor or family member expressing losses. Life is so up and down and it’s a ride we can’t get off of.
Recording this song was a beautiful experience. Thomas D’arcy at Taurus Recording has such a wonderful set up. His studio is actually in a renovated church building. The vocal booth is set up in an old baptism tank. With our deep roots in our Christian faith, that seemed so fitting. This was the first song I sang on the album that I cried while I was recording it. There was a flood of emotions, and I had to take a second before I could go on. Thom is so good at letting those moments come naturally, so he gave me the time I needed.
The next day we came into the studio and he had ordered us McDonalds breakfast, which wasn’t the only surprise. He had asked a friend to record strings on the song – Drew Jurecka. He is a master arranger, so he wrote the part and had it recorded. He does all Dua Lipa’s tracks, so needless to say, it sounded insane. Again, the tears fell. I’m so happy this song got the heart it deserved in all the processes of writing and recording it.”
Accompanying the single is a beautiful music video directed by Lindsey Blane, that follows both Danielle and Drew walking through Vancouver, a simple yet powerful visual that captures the speed at which life goes on around you.
Since the release of their 2013 hit single, “I Heard I Had,” the band have spent the years since releasing music (2015’s Black To Gold and 2018’s Phases), touring and sharing the stage with Lights, Phantogram, and Arkells, and topping the radio charts with “Black To Gold”, “Live Through The Night” and “Boys & Blondes.” Composed of couple Danielle & Drew McTaggart, the band won the 2015 SOCAN Songwriting Prize for “I Heard I Had” and the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Artist of The Year.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.