Idledaze – Safe Under the Tree

Idledaze – Safe Under the Tree


The Colorado based four piece Idledaze’s debut release Safe Under the Tree reaffirms traditional music configurations like those audiences enjoyed for decades from iconic acts like Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty, but they bring their own personality to these time tested forms without ever sounding imitative. The five song collection is distinguished by stellar vocal harmonies and top notch songwriting, obviously, but the band has taken great pains to bring modern sounds into the mix rather than full on embracing any sort of retro vibe and the production renders Idledaze’s musical strengths with vivid clarity. Their live appearances are garnering a lot of attention from audiences, frankly, starving for more acts like this, but Safe Under the Tree will go even further and set them up as an artistic force to be reckoned with for years to come.

“Bluelines” opens the EP with an interesting mix of rhythms and slightly dissonant guitar that never oversteps its boundaries. Idledaze seamlessly transitions into less cluttered verses and there’s a clear focus on keeping the harmonies musical, but they also put a high premium on keeping those harmonies ragged but right. There’s a wonderfully organic quality to this particular recording suggesting they cut the song live in the studio and it makes the performance all the more appealing. “Turn” has a harder, bluesier edge thanks to the guitar work, but the same commitment to blending such an approach with top notch vocals remains one of the key strengths the band emphasizes for listeners. The mix of male and female vocals is handled without ever lapsing into the sort of clichés all too common to this style and they succeed in carving out their own niche with this sort of music. There’s some particularly fiery guitar work in the song’s second half, but it’s never so heavy handed that longtime fans of the style will turn away from the work disappointed by self indulgence.

The band’s throbbing rock and roll heart, once again, beats through their chest with the guitar crunch of “Trouble”, but the dynamics of orchestrating light and shadow continues to pay off big for the band on this number. “Wolf Bob” moves away from the heavy presence of guitar characterizing the earlier numbers and breaks it up more with a different utilization of dynamics than the aforementioned cuts. Pulling back on its six string presence allows the vocals to shine in a way they haven’t since the opening number and the interplay between the band’s two vocalists burn brighter than ever. The finale “Backpack” is a steady amble from the first and pursues the approach found in the previous number to its logical end. It’s a closer that shows the band obviously underlining their vocal strengths as the key ingredient in the band’s musical mix. The promise on this release is immense and shockingly realized for an EP release. Idledaze’s Safe Under the Tree will win over longtime classic rock devotees, modern fans, and casual admirers alike.


Michael Rand

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