Conor McCabe (vocals) and Chris McGrath (guitar) are Idle Dream, a Dublin based duo who have been waiting quite a while to light up the Irish music scene. The pair solidified the lineup of their band in January 2020 and had been working excitedly on material, when all of a sudden everything changed. A global pandemic made the whole world grind to a halt, and although the pair managed to squeeze out their brilliant single ‘A Matter Of The Heart’ some valuable momentum was lost as civilisation adjusted.
However, every cloud has a silver lining and Idle Dream used their down time wisely. Furthering the musical understanding between the new lineup, and writing and recording some fine tunes in the process, McCade and McGrath have taken their sound to a whole new level. Instilled with a new purpose and energy, and having patiently waited for their moment, Idle Dream are finally ready to unveil their brand new single ‘The First Time’.
The song kicks off with a bright and inviting guitar driven intro, which has a nice retro vibe to it which is reminiscent of 90s indie rock.
McCabe joins in with a voice that is clear and distinct. He delivers the vocals with admirable conviction, and sounds like he means every world. The pairing of Conor’s voice and Chris’s character filled guitar playing compliment each other brilliantly, and the result is a confidently assured sound. It’s clear that these two musicians know each other’s style very well. The tracks refrain punches in nicely as the meaning of the lyrics come to the forefront – exploring the way people mask their trepidation and anxiety at the beginning of a burgeoning romance.
“The essence of the song is underpinned with far more anxiety than the melody’s hopeful, uplifting feel would portray” says the band “It deals with the ideas of young love in its later stages, inspired by the idea of falling for someone wholly as you could when you were younger, but being faced with the push-backs and complications of responsibility and personal history.”
While ‘The First Time’ succeeds in being an engaging straight ahead rocker, the pair add some pleasing musical flourishes to keep the more refined listener engaged. For instance, the dynamic stops that lead into the refrain are a nice touch, as is the rumbling guitar that adds an understated heaviness to proceedings. At the mid point, the song opens up nicely into a more spacious soundscape which draws the listener in deeper with some luscious instrumentation.
‘The First Time’ has an ethereal quality which claws at the emotions. In a way, Idle Dream guide us on an introspective trek over the duration of the song. As everything crashes together for the big closing section, there is a cathartic sense of triumph and achievement. We’ve had to weather the storm, but we made it to the other side – just like the band themselves.
Idle Dream have well and truly left those uncertain days of the early pandemic in the past, and are looking forward to a future filled with excitement and promise.