Dear Rouge
Photo: Lindsey Blane

Vancouver alt-rock duo Dear Rouge are back with a brand new album (due in early 2022) and a recently released single, calling out the fakeness of social media and the “influencers” we’ve become inundated with. We caught up with them to chat about the new music, their biggest influences, and what advice they’d give their past selves.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Fake Fame”.

Dear Rouge: “Fake Fame” tackles the darker side of the social media landscape these days. It’s a cry for the authentic, and a push back on the fact that a lot of what we are seeing and hearing on these platforms is not reality. We’re so quick to judge against the inauthentic. I wrestled with this myself for years. We also don’t want our fans to think we’re just pointing the finger, but see it’s a world we’re navigating ourselves. We’re musicians and we need these platforms to get our music out there. The song is charged musically with that angst and energy, and yet there’s also sweet moments where the acoustic comes in and the music comes down, representing the emotional side of what ties us so much to wanting to feel seen and heard.

FTS: What can fans expect from your upcoming third album?

Dear Rouge: Our new album is full of vulnerable moments, which we really pushed ourselves to communicate. On past records, I found it harder to put myself out there. I wasn’t necessarily ready to be that upfront with my thoughts and feelings. But this season of life has taught me to be braver about my story. I feel like you can really hear that through the lyrics of the album.

Musically, it’s definitely a classic Dear Rouge sound, but we were careful to use as many organic instruments as possible. We wanted to give our listeners the human experience and a lot of ear candy. I’m so excited to share it with the world.

FTS: Who were your musical influences growing up, and how do they differ from your current ones?

Dear Rouge: My musical influences have changed so much through the years. We started off being influenced by our families – we both come from musical families. But for Drew the first band that really changed his life was Led Zeppelin, and of course, can’t forget The Beatles. He was so taken aback by the songwriting. For myself, I had an interesting start to music. My family was very conservative, so a lot of my influences came later in my childhood. My dad loved Johnny Cash and my mom loved The Carpenters. I remember Alanis Morisette was probably the artist that I was first a fan of at a younger age. Nowadays, I feel very influenced by artists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, St.Vincent, Beyoncé, Phantogram, and Phoebe Bridgers. I’m a big fan of excellent pop, but I love a good rock out too!

FTS: What advice would third album era Dear Rouge give to debut album era Dear Rouge?

Dear Rouge: Great question! There’s a line on this new album that says it all for us: “get me back to why we started in the first place,” and that’s really how we feel. We want our music to mean a lot. We want to help people through life, while we help ourselves by being true to who we are, and spreading love. Music is incredible to bring people together. We know it’s so important to heal and connect us. Thats what we want. Don’t forget that.

FTS: If you could collaborate with any artist or band, living or dead, who would you choose?

Dear Rouge: We’d the say The Beatles. We think they are the musical prophets of our day and have written some of the best songs that will ever be.

Check out the latest single from Dear Rouge, “Fake Fame”!