41. “Little by Little,” Dear Rouge

Dear Rouge playing live in Toronto

This is the post this blog was made for. Since I started the blog back in 2010, this is only the second time the perfect song has come up on shuffle at the perfect time (here’s the first). It’s the ultimate in shuffled synergy and it made me feel alive. 

This is a song that is no stranger to these parts. I’ve written about it from its very early stages, when it was a new, unreleased song Dear Rouge played on their first headlining tour in 2015. At a time when I began craving positivity in my life, its “maybe something good is coming” refrain drenched me in a wave of good vibes.

It wouldn’t officially be released until March of 2018, on their second album, Phases. I was so relieved that it made the cut so I could listen to it whenever I needed to be reminded that something good was coming.

On the Saturday morning of this serendipitous shuffled synergy, I was in a bit of a funk. Just feeling down. But it was the Saturday morning of my end-of-year softball tournament. Playing baseball, in any of its hard or soft forms, is one of the things that gives me life. I should have been psyched. But the mind does what the mind does. I knew I had to drag myself up out of the gutter.

On the drive over to the diamond, I tried some positive self-talk. “This is going to be so much fun! We’re going to win a fucking championship today!” It helped a bit. I was about halfway up out of that gutter. Then I thought maybe music would tip me over the edge from sad to psyched. I hit “shuffle” and let fate do the rest.

And up came “Little by Little.” As that drum beat propelled into my ears, I was thrust back to that night in November 2015 at the Mod Club in Toronto, when I first heard the song, when it first raised the hairs on my arms, with its message of going from “Feeling just a bit unsteady” to, little by little, “singing ‘maybe something good is coming.’” I felt those raised hairs again, the tingles in the side of my neck, because something good had come.

What makes it all even more serendipitous is that this is exactly what I was doing in the car before shuffle showered me with this song’s positive vibes. I was feeling unsteady but telling myself we were going to win a championship.

We didn’t. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that music is amazing and life can be exhilarating, even in little moments like this. What matters is acknowledging the ecstatic beauty of a coincidence like this, this song randomly playing exactly when it did, when I needed it, when I was going through exactly what the song is about. There’s something life-affirming about it.

We don’t see the magic of life every day. But this felt like one of those rare moments, where reality and “something else” briefly came together and lit a little spark of magic into the world.

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