BC Music Scene – Dear Rouge

Drew and Danielle McTaggart met while touring in their early days, before dating then getting married and starting their own band, Dear Rouge. Dear Rouge is from Vancouver, B.C. and began in 2012. The name is based off of Danielle’s home town, Red Deer. “Dear” being a homophone of deer and “rouge” being French for red.

Dear Rouge is also a “Peak Performance Project” winner from 2012. They’re also quite the decorated group when it comes to awards. Winning the SOCAN Songwriting Prize in 2015. Nominated and won several awards in 2017 and 2018 in the Western Canadian Music Awards. And have even scored a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2016.

The group has four studio albums, with their latest being released in March of 2018 “PHASES”. The album had three singles which got pretty high up on the Canadian Alternative and Canadian Rock charts. “Boys and Blondes” and “Modern Shakedown” got as high as 6th. While “Live Through the Night” (arguably their biggest song) got all the way up to number 1.

Dear Rouge has toured the country on several occasions. In 2013 they did a cross Canada tour in spring and again in winter, with their western shows supporting Canadian artist Lights. In 2015 the band was able to tour in support of another Canadian group “The Arkells” on their winter tour dates from February to March. They toured in support of the Arkells again in 2019 on their “Rally Cry Tour” Through the west coast U.S. stops.

The band hasn’t mentioned anything new in the works in regards to an album or a tour. The pandemic is keeping everyone a little bit more hush-hush. Although Dear Rouge is still scheduled to play at the Pigeon Lake Music Festival in Alberta in 2021. We’ll see if that still happens.

BC Music Scene – Daniel Wesley

Daniel Wesley was born in White Rock, B.C. and raised in Brookswood – a community in the Township of Langley, B.C. Wesley has eight albums, one EP and one live recording which was performed at the Commodore Ballroom.

Wesley has been posting journals on his website over the years. He mentions that a few years ago, him and his family decided to sell their townhouse out in South Surrey, pack up, and move to a 4.4 acre lot on the Sunshine Coast in Roberts Creek – something Wesley says was a bit out of his comfort zone.

Wesley wasn’t sure if creating music was going to support him. So while working full time he decided to finish his electrical ticket and also continue making music and doing live shows. Well, Wesley finally had about enough and says “I did what anyone in their mid 30’s would do and quit my job as an electrician to focus on my music career”. Which is crazy if you think about it. Gambling on yourself is a power move, and Wesley is all in.

He dropped an EP in June of last year titled “Beach Music” which included 5 songs that Wesley thought had a more common style. Then released the full album “Beach Music” later on in September 2019.

Wesley has a pretty unique style with many different instruments. His style is kind of that West Coast Reggae Rock. The type of music you throw on while you’re sitting around the campfire at the beach with a bunch of friends. Crack a beer, light up a joint and sail into the night. He’s created several sing alongs that you just can’t help but belt out.

There’s no plans as of right now for a tour involving Wesley. I’ve yet to see him perform live, but I’ve heard incredible things. One things for sure, the day we get back to some normalcy and he announces a tour, you better believe I’ll be first in line for tickets.

BC Music Scene – Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan is a Vancouver-based musician who was born in Smithers, B.C. He’s toured the world and shared the stage with many incredible artists including Broken Social Scene (CAN), Japandroids (CAN) and Mumford and Sons (UK). Mangan released his debut album in 2005 titled “Postcards and Daydreaming”. He completed 4 albums since then, with his latest in 2018. He’s also won multiple JUNO awards.

Mangan was scheduled to do a show on March 13th 2020 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Ontario. But it was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mangan ended up playing at the hall anyways, with no audience and streamed the event on YouTube titled “Show To Nobody”.

Mangan was scheduled to be on tour this year, making his way across Canada and into the states for a couple shows. Ultimately everything has been put on hold for now. The tour was to go until the end of January 2021.

A couple years ago, Mangan put together a mini series called “More or Less – songwriting series” which went behind the scenes of some of the songs that had the biggest impacts on him as a songwriter. The videos show raw footage of him in the studio and performing some of the songs in person, encouraging the crowd to sing a long with him.

He just released a new single titled “There’s a tumour in the White House” which talks about – well – I’m sure you cant figure it out by the title. But also several other social issues the world is currently dealing with.

Mangan is the co-founder of Side Door Access. An alternative concert booking startup. It is used to host ticketed live stream concerts and has been holding events regularly during the pandemic. He is set to perform a covers only set on Saturday, November 21st via Side Door Access.

BC Music Scene – Current Swell

Current Swell is a Canadian indie rock band. Their roots lie on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, B.C. They currently have 7 studio albums with their most recent album “Buffalo” released in 2019. They formed in 2005 and are still going strong to this day.

Their song “Young and Able” from 2009 is what put them on the map. A light campfire sing along style. Definitely a suitable island type of vibe to it.

Current Swell has played many shows over the years, but one of their most impressive was back in 2011 when they got to play in front of 45,000 people at a jam packed B.C. Legislature on Canada Day.

Although the awards aren’t all there for the band, one of their biggest awards they’ve received was back 2011 (which was definitely a good year for the group.) Current Swell entered a local radio station contest (Peak Performance Project) with the grand prize being $100,500.

They’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with many incredible talents over the years, including Bedouin Soundclash, K-OS, The Beach Boys and The Tragically Hip to name a few.

Current Swell has said that they get their influence and motivation in their music from travelling, friends, strangers. But the most important thing that keeps the band going is the love and support they receive from their fans from all over. Not just in B.C., but the band are the beneficiaries of a massive support group and loyal fan base in Brazil. The band says that they receive emails constantly from fans asking them to come back to perform. Currently Swell has said that they plan on returning to Brazil as soon as they can. Not for the money, fame or opportunity. They say they want to head back for their fans.

Imagine the feeling a band from Vancouver Island must feel when the love is felt worldwide.

BC Music Scene – CHERSEA

Chelsea Laing more commonly known as Chersea when it comes to her music, is a one of a kind expressionist inspired electro-pop artist from Vancouver, B.C.

She released her sophomore album in September 2018 titled “In Limbo” after her debut EP “Grey Matter” got her started 4 years prior. The story behind the album  as she told the Regina Leader-Post was that the album took a long time to make “It was written over almost five years, it was in a period of my life when I had no direction.” Chersea is very open about the struggles she had with drugs alcohol and mental illness. Chersea is a prime example of someone that has become successful even after going through some awful times in life. her message is that, no matter how bad it all gets, there’s always hope for a better tomorrow.

In August 2019 Chersea got to tour across Canada for the month of August. She had plans on launching another tour in March and April of 2020, but with the current pandemic issues, this wasn’t possible for her. She wants to perform for people once its safe to do so. Especially with her style of performance. You won’t catch her sitting still for a lot of the show. Most of the time you’ll see her running in to the crowd, and getting people involved in the show which she believes creates more for the peformance, including everyone.

One of Chersea’s many incredible talents is – in my opinion – that she performs with a looper. But she says that when she tours she prefers to have the full experience of having all the instruments there with her.

Chersea has been working hard on some new music for her new album. There’s no date currently in place for the release, but she says it’s coming.