On Our Radar: Dear Rouge's "Small Talk" will resonate with those who are happiest with being home alone

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      Time can sometimes be a funny thing, mostly for the way that it constantly changes one’s outlook on the world.

      Dive into Dear Rouge’s new and brilliantly mixed-tape-worthy “Small Talk” and you’ll have to think about whether you’ve enjoyed the past 24 months. Was it a blessing to have a ready-made excuse for declining all invitations to pot-luck dinners, Christmas parties, and birthday bashes for coworkers at TGI Friday's?

      Or has spending endless days, weeks, months, and now years on the couch watching The Crown, Better Call Saul, Yellowjackets, Landscapers, and The White Lotus finally lost its appeal?

      Such questions are doubly important if you’re one of those people who’s extra-gifted at kick-starting a conversation when things start to get silent and awkward. All you have to do is ask about vacation plans, favourite movies, and dream-places to have sex.

      But here’s the thing: it’s tiring having to make every interaction seem meaningful (especially those with strangers you’ll likely never meet again). And given that, Danielle McTaggart couldn’t nail things more perfectly in the electro-washed soft-banger “Small Talk”. Especially when, in a deliciously world-weary voice, she sings “Walk into the party/Chills in my blood/I don’t wanna small talk/Feels like cheap love”.

      The video switches between neon-lit full-band action in a subterranean bunker and scenes from a modern-dance gathering in an all-white living room. Winningly there are also not only pinball machines, but a whole goddamn seductive row of them. And seriously, if there’s one thing that might actually get us excited about leaving the house today, tomorrow, next week, or next month, it’s the promise of being able to play pinball, even if that means bringing extra hand sanitizer. Especially if Williams' classic Terminator 2: Judgement Day table is in the mix. 

      What are the odds of McTaggart being there with a stack of loonies, a custom-made Dear Rouge facemask, and an attitude that suggests that, while she doesn’t mind people, she usually feels better when they aren’t around.

      Well, consider these “Small Talk” lines: “Everyone around me faking a vibe/Wanna cut the bullshit”. Or "I’m a-wishing I was home/La-la-la-la-la-la-la/I’d be better on my own.”

      If you can relate, there’s a good chance that the past two years haven’t been nearly as horrible as they’ve been for some. After all, you haven’t had to spend seemingly endless nights with dinner-party strangers asking “So, got any vacation plans coming up?”

      Dear Rouge's new album, Spirit, is out April 22. For more info, go here