Daydream Review’s Elijah Montez is a one man project from an incredibly talented artist that blends together psychedelic rock and pop so magnificently that you will not want to let go of what you’re hearing. We have had the record on all day and we can tropical day it’s one of the best psychedelic rock albums we’ve heard in weeks (and that’s saying a lot because we go through them all). Hear his latest single and read more about him below:
FEELS: like laying next to a warm fire in a cabin on a mountain
SOUNDS: like tame impala, brit pop/rock, pond
Today, Chicago-based psych-pop multi-instrumentalist Elijah Montez, the frontman and sole songwriter of Daydream Review shares his highly anticipated, kaleidoscopic debut studio album Leisure out everywhere now via Side Hustle Records. Alongside the album release is the latest layered single “Dissolving” out now. There is also a limited run of the LP on vinyl available to purchase now.
Daydream Review is currently taking the new music around his home city of Chicago, IL in celebration of the release. The official album release show is at Cole’s Bar tomorrow night and the final how of this run is on May 26 at Schubas Tavern with tickets on sale now via linktr.ee/daydreamreview.
Leisure, out now, is Daydream Review’s debut full-length studio album featuring his most realized work to date. Over thirteen chromatic, experimental tracks, the artist’s airy production and thoughtful, existential lyricism transports listeners to a fresh sonic universe that pushes the boundaries of modern psychedelic pop. Diving deeper into the album’s meaning, Daydream Review explains, “‘Leisure’ is about the ever-present tension between the desire for free time, for personal enjoyment and leisure, and the demands that capitalistic society places on those desires, and how it restricts the ability to enjoy that free time. Your job and work, to me, seem to be consistent specters that haunt your ability to enjoy your free time, knowing that those demands are always awaiting you when your free time comes to an end.”
It is this balancing act that informed much of the album creation and its themes. The artist continues, “Leisure, as a concept, became something almost otherworldly and that much more desirable, something you dream about when you have so much time funneled into work, and the repetitive act of balancing those two ends up being something almost hypnotic, and I tried to channel all of that into the sonic qualities of the album.”
Staged Haze wrote the album is, “Blurry but lucid, foggy but focused. Spiraling in smoke-machine-haze, but precise in its lyrical poignancy. Comparisons to early Tame Impala and Pond feel a bit too obvious, at least sonically, but they wouldn’t be wrong.”On what makes the album unique, the publication added, “It’s the combination of escapist, ethereal music with the most practical, realist subject imaginable that makes ‘Leisure’ stand out.
Alongside the album is the latest single, “Dissolving,” a layered, warbled track that confronts things that feel unsettling in an effort to change one’s worldview and grow as a person. Explaining the track’s subject matter, Daydream Review says, “I only had the first line of the lyrics, so I knew the song title, but it ended up being about that oh-so-classic psychedelic theme of killing your ego- but not in the classic drug-induced sense.” He continues, “I like to think that if you’re open to changing, it happens on a near constant basis, that you break down some kind of preconceived notion and subsume that change into yourself. As the lyrics came together for the song, I found that the sonic qualities mirrored those ideas of change quite well–how they can come to you suddenly, excitedly, or slowly.”
Today’s release of the full project follows the lush psych-soul title track that confronts the adverse effects of a brutal work culture that capitalism has bred and made routine in today’s world. Daydream Review explains,”This song is about the absolute compression of your soul and destruction of your time that work culture and capitalism has made commonplace. There’s an uncertainty that it creates in terms of how you view your life, and how you’ll look back on it, how you can take care of yourself and your loved ones.” It continues Daydream Review’s theme of poignantly and swiftly examining existential questions with a unique freshness that makes getting lost in the music come naturally. “Sonically,” he continues, “it has elements of psychedelic soul, so there’s a groove in it, but I think the arrangement communicates the exhaustion that’s baked into the lyrics.”
Other previously shared singles include the hypnotic track, “No Eternity” and the dreamy, “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?” The latter title acts as both a question to himself as he was in the middle of writing the song wondering which direction to take it in, and as a larger, more existential question about what he wants out of life. One of the last songs written for the album, Montez explains, “I had written roughly the first half of the song and was unsure where to take it, and I remember trying different things, and talking to myself saying, “Have you figured it out? Have you found it?” Montez adds the theme of the track spoke to the broader themes of the project as a whole, “The overarching theme of the song fits quite well in the context of the album–being dissatisfied with work, dissatisfied with the state of the world, and dissatisfied with capitalism at large, and searching for something that can fill in the void that all that dissatisfaction leaves.”
The track premiered exclusively via FLOOD Magazine who wrote, “Daydream Review have specialized, so far, in crafting mellow, mirage-like songs,” adding, “For a song that loosely revolves around capitalism-induced dread, the final cut is pretty groovy,” specifically about the latest release.
The track grabbed Notion‘s attention, who included the track on their coveted Undiscovered list and wrote the artist, “layers up on tropical sounds on his kaleidoscopic new release.” They added it’s a “nonchalant track guided by many instruments, [an] ethereal release,”
“No Eternity” recalls the turmoil of 2020 from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to the momentous Black Lives Matter protests that flooded the streets. The track aims to imagine what the future might look like if the past and present have felt so harrowing. Sonically, the track came together long before the lyrics did, and its dreamy, lush atmosphere compelled Daydream Review to follow it through and finish it. “Lyrically, it may be the closest to a song specifically about COVID–not the pandemic itself, but between the BLM protests in Summer 2020 and this change a lot of people have had to the nature of work, I had a hard time thinking of how things would look on the other side of it, and trying to make sense of the future when the only context you have is the past.” Notion called “No Eternity,” “another infectious, ambient release” and like other Daydream Review fans, is also eagerly anticipating the project’s full release.
Daydream Review will continue to celebrate the release of his album with live shows including tomorrow night at Chicago’s Cole’s Bar for the official album release show. The final show of the run is on May 26 at Schubas Tavern. Get tickets now here.
In early summer 2022, Daydream Review shared two tracks, an A-side and a B-side, as a taste of what’s to come. The dystopian “Dream Sequence #29” is the B-side to the A-side of the love-filled “Sensory Deprivation” which acted as a palette cleanser after a more retro-influenced debut EP released in 2021. Now, Daydream Review aims to depart slightly from his usual sound in an effort to dig deeper into what his artistry might become in 2023 as both Daydream Review and Elijah Montez, the artist and the person, continue to evolve.
Daydream Review has spent plenty of time on the road, including opening for modern psychedelic pioneers such as Sugar Candy Mountain, Triptides, and The Mattson 2. When performing live today, the band consists of Montez & Kaitlyn Murphy(harmony vocals and auxiliary percussion), as well as a rotating group of friends who help fill out the band’s live sound.
After moving from Austin to Chicago, Daydream Review began turning the heads of leading tastemakers in Chicago and beyond. Chicago Reader called the band a “pastel-tinted pop-psych gem,” and theChicago Tribune wrote Montez’s work is, “flowing with an abundance of melodic harmonies and memorable structures,” while Alt Citizen called it, “beautiful, dreamy, and otherworldly.” PopWrapped lauded that the music Montez creates is, “multi-layered, rather personal and often reflective – offer listeners moments of clarity at times when it’s most needed.”
Now, with his debut album out for the world to hear, Daydream Review elegantly expands the layered sonic world he has created and continues to push the boundaries of modern psychedelic pop with his dynamic production and reflective, profound, existential lyricism.
Leisure, the ethereal debut studio album by Daydream Review, is out everywhere nowvia Side Hustle Records. A limited run on vinyl is also available to purchase now. Plus, catch the musician live in Chicago tomorrow and on May 26 as he celebrates his album release. Get tickets now here. Connect with Daydream Review on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the rising artist.