Always pushing boundaries, alt-pop phenomenon Lights has never shied away from a challenge. Through her first three records, Lights built an incredibly passionate fanbase, selling out tours around the world, earning 100M in U.S. streams, 200K in U.S. album sales, and two JUNO Awards, not to mention the 2M + rabid fans who follow her every move online.
A trio of two brothers and one longtime friend who personally produce, perform, and passionately conjure up dark alternative pop punctuated by rock and r&b, australia’s chase atlantic blur the lines between a nocturnal aesthetic and primal bliss on their 2017 self-titled debut for warner bros. Records.
DCF – aka, David Charles Fischer, isn’t afraid to love pop music. His affection for the genre inspired him to release his interpretations of some of the most recognizable millennial hits in a series of attention grabbing online mixtapes. While anchoring these tuneful samples with straight up honest lyrics and a wink to his trademark ironic “bad boy next door” persona, DCF started tapping into an online fan base of alternative music fans wondering if pop music actually is for them. His instantly hummable mixtape offerings soon led to his first indie release, Pop Songs, an EP of original songs brimming with standout pop hooks, indelible melodies, and lyrics that flirt with less than sober twenty-something melancholy. His unique brand of neo-pop, has comfortably found a home somewhere between the sensibilities of Frank Ocean and the springy croon of Justin Timberlake, with a layer of undeniable Drake-confidence.
For all intents and purposes, says Drew, it was the most ecstatic period of their lives. He and Danielle—partners in life and art—had quit their day jobs to focus on music full-time; they’d wholly channeled their energies into honing their sinewy, hook-driven indie rock. “It was the highest time of our lives,” he says now. “But we realized that, at the same time, a lot of our friends back home in Vancouver were going through incredibly hard experiences.” The contrast was jarring. While the McTaggarts were gearing up to work on their sophomore LP, Drew’s cousin passed away; other friends were in the midst of harrowing life transitions. Before long, they realized that the contrast between those emotional extremes had provided a psychological backdrop for Dear Rouge’s creative process. “It really got us thinking,” says Danielle, “half the album became about the joys we were experiencing, while half the album was about pain and hardships.”