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What does the word “spirit” invoke in you? Does it inspire confidence, as in someone saying “that’s the spirit!”, or a team rallying together? Is it deeply personal, aiming for a spirit of reconciliation, or carrying a religious connotation? Perhaps you think of a group communing together, or someone reflecting in solitude.The dictionary defines ‘spirit’ as“the nonphysical part of a person, regarded as their true self and capable of surviving physical death or separation.” Dear Rouge offer up their newest record Spiritas an exploration of these ponderings and themes, as we all emerge from a season steeped in hardship and isolation.Secluded away from the busy cityscapes, Drew and Danielle McTaggart took up residence in a lakeside cabin shortly after the release of PHASES, their stellar sophomore record. PHASES reflected on the paradox of their success in music whilst the ones closest to them weathered the storms of life. On PHASES, the duo wrote in studios all across North America with some of the most elite names in music. This time, the duo found themselves spending their days alone together and Spirit began to take form over the winter months. “I had this epiphany,” Danielle shared, “that we needed to come back to ourselves and the joy and comfort we found in each other when we began writing music together”. Her epiphany meant a return to vulnerability, honesty, the enjoyment of their own art and an authenticity in working with what’s true for you. Instead of seeking out high brow co-writers and listening to too many outside voices, Danielle felt compelled to hear those already closest to her. On Spirit, Dear Rouge turned to the ones that had been there all along: their bassist Jordan Kern, longtime collaborator Ryan Worsley (GUS, Mathew V), Broken Social Scene founder Brendan Canning, close friend and drummer Daniel Klenner (Peach Pit, We Are The City), pop-star and former tourmate Lights, and the most intimate pairing of all, each other. The only invitation to an outsider was extended to producer Thomas D’arcy (Neko Case, July Talk, The Sheepdogs), who felt like an insider already, given his close friendship with several of those already in the “inner circle”. Leaning out the writing and production team allowed the most vulnerable and raw side of Danielle’s inner thoughts to shine through. Spirit is the line being thrown from these questions and deep reckonings, urging you to grab hold and hang on for dear life.