Dear Rouge is a Juno award-winning Vancouver-based electronic rock band formed in 2012 by Drew and Danielle McTaggart.
Formation and early years
Drew and Danielle McTaggart were both touring musicians under separate projects. They met while in their early touring days, and began dating, before getting married and starting Dear Rouge. The name of the duo is derived from the name of Danielle's home town, Red Deer, Alberta. Danielle had previously been in a duo called Gaetz Ave, named after a street in Red Deer. Drew was a member of Vancouver indie circuit band Maclean.In April 2012, Dear Rouge independently released their debut EP Heads Up! Watch Out!, a four-song EP on their Bandcamp page, and followed up six months later with their second EP Kids Wanna Know.In November 2012, Dear Rouge won $102,700 as the grand prize winners of the Peak Performance Project put on by the Music BC Industry Organization and CKPK-FM radio station in Vancouver.In June 2013, Exposure Contest and Dear Rouge partnered up to present a video editing contest in support of their single, "Thinking About You", from their Kids Wanna Know EP. The contest drew a wide social media spread, accumulating hundreds of entrants from around the world.
Black to Gold
Dear Rouge released their single "I Heard I Had" on October 14, 2013.In March 2014, "I Heard I Had" charted at #3 in Alternative Rock (Mediabase), #3 in Modern Rock (Mediabase), and at #13 in Canadian Rock (BDS radio). The song also won the 2015 SOCAN Songwriting Prize, an annual competition that honours the best song written and released by 'emerging' songwriters over the past year, as voted by the public. The band released their second single "Best Look Lately" on April 22, 2014. As of September 2014, it has also cracked the Top 20 of the Canadian Alternative Rock and Modern Rock charts.
The band then signed to the Canadian branch of Universal Music Group in October 2014, and announced that their debut album Black To Gold will be released through them in early 2015. The band's next single, title track "Black To Gold", was sent to radio on January 13, 2015. The single was made available digitally on February 10 along with a pre-order for the album.
On February 2, the band announced March 30th as the release date for the album and a tour with Arkells. As of May 2015, "Black To Gold" had hit #2 on the Canadian Alt-Rock charts. Their final single from Black To Gold, "Tongues", was sent to radio on June 23, 2015, and charted on Canadian Alternative Rock throughout summer 2015.
Dear Rouge recorded the title song for the Canadian TV series Private Eyes a cover of the Hall and Oates song with the same name.On April 2, 2016, Dear Rouge won the Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and also performed "I Heard I Had" on the live broadcast on April 3, 2016.
That year, Danielle McTaggart also contributed vocals to David Vertesi's song "Solid Ground", on his album "Sad Dad Cruise Ship".
Dear Rouge spent most of 2016 and 2017 touring while writing and recording their second album. They worked with several notable producers and writers, including Tawgs Salter, Sterling Fox, and Steve Bays.The first single from the duo's second record is entitled "Boys & Blondes" and was released on October 27, 2017. It debuted on the Canadian Alternative Rock Charts at #20 on November 7, 2017. As of February 2018, it had peaked at #6.
On February 2, 2018, the duo announced their second record PHASES would be released on March 9, 2018. It was released to positive reviews from music publications including Exclaim! and The Spill Magazine. The album peaked on the NACC 200 at #32, and on the NACC Electronic at #9.
The second single from PHASES, "Live Through The Night", was sent to radio in May 2018. Dear Rouge announced a string of festival tour dates for the summer which will be followed by their fall 2018 headlining tour with Modern Space as support. "Live Through The Night" became the band's first single to hit #1 on the Canadian Alternative Rock Charts on August 13, 2018.
The band toured across Canada in the spring of 2013, and again in the Winter of 2013, also covering Western Canada with a number of shows supporting Lights. In March 2014 the band announced another cross Canada tour supporting Fast Romantics. Throughout the summer of 2014, Dear Rouge played a number of festivals across Canada including Edgefest in Toronto, Otalith in Ucluelet, Shorefest in Vancouver, X-Fest in Calgary, Sonic Boom in Edmonton, and Rifflandia in Victoria.The band toured Canada supporting Phantogram and Mounties throughout December 2014. The band supported Arkells on their Winter Canadian tour dates throughout Canada over February and March 2015. Summer 2015 saw them play festivals across Canada again, including the inaugural Wayhome Festival. Throughout the fall and winter of 2015, Dear Rouge headlined venues across Canada with Rah Rah and sold out many notable venues including Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver and Mod Club in Toronto. They then toured Europe in December 2015. They spent 2016 mostly writing and recording, but appeared at summer festivals like Field Trip in Toronto, and Osheaga Festival in Montreal. Dear Rouge played select dates and festivals through summer 2017.
Dear Rouge played at SXSW 2018 and then supported Lights throughout Canada in the Spring of 2018. Throughout the summer of 2018, Dear Rouge played notable slots at major festivals such as Rock The Shores in Colwood, BC, Ottawa Bluesfest, Riverfest Elora, and the inaugural SKOOKUM Festival in Vancouver, BC. Their headlining Phases release tour begins in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in September 2018.
Awards and nominations