New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Happy Curmudgeons is out with their first album, Meant 2 Be, which features the track, "Idle Time." Happy Curmudgeons is a unique band (as one would hope with such a fun name), seeming to roll with whatever genre that suits the mood of the moment, and they do it well. The band is headed by Dave Hamilton (vocals and guitar), Jeff Warner (vocals, guitar, and mandolin), and Amy Dixon-Lavery (vocals).
The first thing you think when you listen to "Idle Time" is, "Did I stumble into the 90's?" This song sounds like it stepped out of a 20-year time capsule. It's an incredibly charming song, with smooth guitar work and slightly distorted-sounding vocals. The first few seconds reminded me immediately of "No Rain" by Blind Melon, to give you an idea of the quintessential 90's alt rock sound this song has. Moderately paced and full of gorgeous riffs, the track has a spectacular quality that has a rich life to it, despite feeling like it should've been on the radio years ago. It seems hazy, like an old memory that you're getting a glimpse of, and that's probably the greatest strength of "Idle Time" as a whole.
To go along with that sound and vibe, the lyrics match it perfectly. Bittersweet but with an appreciation of the time the singer's spent with the object of his affections. While the lyrics mostly wash over you, not quite sinking in against the chill music, they can be worth focusing on. My favorite lyric is, "You haunt this place with all your grace." Simple
but pretty and nicely put, it's a great opener to the second verse and showcases Hamilton's affection for this person while noting that she is no longer there.
The impact the subject of the song made, how they linger over the singer and the song itself, works beautifully with the classic and subdued sound of "Idle Time." You can almost feel that nostalgia tinged with long-accepted sadness seep into you- it could remind you of someone else, or it could be a wholly new feeling you're experiencing from Hamilton's point of view. The fact that the circumstances of the person leaving gives it a level of intrigue. Why did they leave? All you're given is the image of them flying away. It adds to the magic that the subject has, both in general and the effect they had on Hamilton.
"Idle Time" is a fantastic song from Happy Curmudgeons, a band with an apt name. It's a song that will either make you reflective or will help you relax, with the gentle tempo and pleasant vocals. Hamilton and co. have an overall diverse sound, and this track is an excellent callback to the iconic sounds of the 90's. It's arguably my favorite song from the band, and it's one I would definitely recommend to anyone with an affinity for soft rock and/or a healthy dose of nostalgia. I look forward to their future work, as it's sure to be just as interesting.