Stereo Dawn's New Song Is Called 'Bad Idea,' But This Indie Pop Duo Is Worth Your Time

Curtis M. Wong

Adele hasn’t released an album in more than four years — almost an eternity in the streaming era — but the 15-time Grammy winner serves as an effective muse for New York indie pop duo Stereo Dawn.

Both singer Chris Dwan and multi-instrumentalist/background vocalist Will Van Dyke said “Bad Idea,” their latest single, was written with Adele in mind. When the men headed into the studio, they wanted to relay “the struggle you feel when you want to do something you know isn’t the best,” Dwan said. The result is a piano-and-guitar-driven ballad with a tinge of country, with wistful lyrics that hint at a love gone wrong.

Stereo Dawn unveiled “Bad Idea” as both a single and a music video (watch it above) on Friday. The track arrives just four months after the release of the duo’s debut album, “Off the Ground.”

Together, “Bad Idea” and “Off the Ground” are the sonic byproducts of a kinship that began in the audition rooms and rehearsal spaces of Manhattan’s theater world. Dwan made his Broadway debut in 2015’s “Finding Neverland” and can currently be seen in the off-Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors,” starring Jonathan Groff. Van Dyke, who also happens to be the music director for “Little Shop,” has written extensively for the stage and TV.

Stereo Dawn's Will Van Dyke (left) and Chris Dwan released their debut album, "Off the Ground," in September. (Courtesy photo )

In spite of their theatrical roots, both men share an unabashed love of pop music. Dwan names Kelly Clarkson and Justin Timberlake as favorites, while Van Dyke leans toward Elton John and Alanis Morissette.

As it turned out, differing influences and artists of choice didn’t impede the pair’s ability to achieve musical alchemy. They first teamed up for the 1980s-influenced “Two Hands/One Pocket,” a song featured in Dwan’s 2017 holiday concert, “A Pop Star Christmas.” From there, Van Dyke said he and Dwan “never stopped writing,” and some half-dozen songs later, the idea of Stereo Dawn ― a band meant to evoke nostalgia for the ’90s and early 2000s...

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