Dear Rouge’s Drew McTaggart: His Shuffled Life

Dear Rouge playing live in Toronto

The blog has its first interview! Drew McTaggart of Dear Rouge was kind enough to take a break from writing to tell me about his “shuffled life”: some of the songs from his past that bring back strong memories. Here’s what he had to say:


A lot of these songs that bring me back are either relationship-driven or they are place-specific, like travel stuff. Like, there’s so many songs that represent certain places that I’ve been because I listened to that music all the time.

“My Iron Lung,” Radiohead

It brings me back to my brother’s bedroom when I was younger, because he got the CDs and he was into cooler music than I was. And then he played that song and there’s a lyric in it that says, “Suck my teenage thumb.”  And when we were that young we were like, “Who says that in a concert? Who does that?” You know? So we were like… every time I hear “My Iron Lung” I remember the day my brother got that album and we were sitting up there just admiring how cool it was.

“The Book of Love,” Peter Gabriel

It’s a little sentimental. It’s originally done by The Magnetic Fields but the version I’m referring to would be Peter Gabriel’s cover of it. And this song is probably one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever listened to. Danielle [McTaggart, of course, Dear Rouge’s singer] and I weren’t married [yet] and it was a big part of our relationship. It kind of took us back to that place. We were on a bus in Mexico and we were dating at the time. And we listened to that song together. And it was in an [laughs] unromantic place because we were on a, like, public transit bus in Mexico. But it seemed like the most romantic time in the world. So every time I hear that song it takes me back to that. And it also is the song from our first dance that we did at our wedding. So it’s quite a special song.

“Roxanne,” The Police

Takes me back to high school, when I was with my buddy. And I didn’t listen to any of the oldies. At all. And we were in his parents’ Suburban and I heard “Roxanne” for the first time and I was like, “This is absolutely amazing! This is the coolest music I’ve ever heard.” It’s absolutely fantastic and I loved it. And every time I hear that song, I can feel like I’m riding in that Suburban when I was a little kid.

“You Only Got One,” Frou Frou

She now goes by Imogen Heap, but she had a band earlier called Frou Frou that I absolutely loved. And I listened to this song, “You Only Got One.” I was going for a run in Amsterdam, visiting an old girl that I liked. And, you know, I was out there for a month in Amsterdam. She was away and it was just me by myself, so I just decided to go for a run. I was running through Amsterdam with all the bridges, listening to that song on repeat over and over and over and over again. Because it was just such an amazing experience. And I can picture those bridges of Amsterdam and walking to those songs.


There you have it: Drew McTaggart’s shuffled life. Big thanks to Drew for doing this! Check out Dear Rouge’s new album, Black to Gold – I can’t get enough of it. And watch for them on tour this summer.

By the way, Drew sent me this as an audio recording and I can’t help but picture them writing in some idyllic cottage somewhere. I could hear birds chirping throughout the recording.

Image of Dear Rouge courtesy of the Vancouver Sun.

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