INTERVIEW: Daydream Review on debut album ‘Leisure’

Daydream Review

Last week Daydream Review – frontman and sole songwriter Elijah Montez – dropped Leisure, the debut album.  The thirteen-track collection not only highlights Elijah’s growth and development as an artist and a person but also addresses a number of current and important issues, notably how so many of us find ourselves in a struggle; torn between time to ourselves and how the time we dedicate to work and those ‘must-do’ jobs that sometimes feel like they’re eating away at your soul impact the fullness and enjoyment of free time. XS Noize caught up with Elijah to talk about his unusual moniker, his favourite track on the album and what he thinks about social media.

Daydream Review is an interesting, unusual name – how did you come up with it? Is there a particular significance to/behind the moniker?

I came up with Daydream Review as a reflection on my own propensity to look back and relive daydreams -a kind of endless loop of daydreaming and daydreaming about daydreaming, almost kind of this recursive way of thinking about where and what I want to be doing. On top of that, I would say that most psychedelic experiences are a kind of daydream, and I think there’s a tendency to hope that you gain something from those experiences.

What is it about “Leisure” that made you want to release it as a single?

I’d say it’s the fact that the arrangement and chord progressions are part and parcel with the song’s lyrics: they’re both speaking the same kind of language.

The track is also the title of your debut album that dropped last week. Without giving too much away, for those who haven’t heard it yet, what can you say about it?

I think I’ve given away quite a bit leading up to this, ha! The themes of the album all kind of loosely tie together the songs, so in a way, I’d call it a very loose concept album without a unifying story, more of a unifying ideology, if that doesn’t sound too silly. One thing I’d mention is that I really gave a lot of thought to the sequencing of the album, and I think a lot of artists say this, but the album is truly at its best when you listen to it from beginning to end.

Do you have a favourite track, and if so, which is it and why?

Of the singles that are out so far, I’m really partial to “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?” It’s pretty simple and straightforward, but the balance of the song is almost perfect, and it’s a good distillation of the rest of the album. In regards to some of the deep cuts, “Dissolving” is fantastic – in my opinion – but you’ll have to wait to hear that one, I guess!

How would you say the album showcases your growth as an artist, looking back on when you first started out?

There are miles of difference. When we first started playing shows, I would write almost a means to an end to be able to play new material without getting sick of everything we were playing. The pandemic actually gave me space away from that and the time to spend much more time on a song, try new things with arrangements and experiment far more than I had in the past. At this point, I overwhelmingly prefer writing and recording to performing – but don’t get me wrong, performing can be an absolute blast.

Is there any particular theme to the album or a message you want to express with it?

I think it comes across in pretty clear terms; the name of the album is Leisure, after all – but all of these songs, in one way or another, are rooted in the tension that capitalism places on our ability to express ourselves, to enjoy our free time, and to explore what makes us happy. Those things are all, in some form, hampered by the perceived need for production and capital, and I think the tension that it creates is a near-universal experience these days.

Will you be touring in support of the album? What does a Daydream Review live show look and sound like?

Unfortunately, no! We had two tours pretty close together last year, and on top of that, I’ve got other stuff on the horizon that would be at odds with a tour right now. I’d like to say our live shows are pretty energetic and fun and can range from full-on head-bopping to slow dancing, depending on our setlist! I’m very grateful to play with a bunch of very talented musicians that enjoy the music we play, and I think that that comes across on stage.

How has social media impacted your career? Would you agree it’s a necessary tool for bands and artists today, or are you concerned by just how much power it can have as to whether an artist succeeds or not?

I’ll state right up front that I’m not a huge fan of social media; between doom scrolling, its ever-present nature, and the fact that a lot of musicians have to wear so many different hats as a consequence of all that, it can be a real drain on your mental wellbeing. That being said, it’s a solid way to promote your stuff and engage with people, and it does feel like a necessity in this era to at least be somewhat plugged into social media. That being said, as you mentioned in the question, its ability to make or break an artist feels like too much stock to put into one arena of how to get your music out there.

Finally, then – where and what’s next for you? What’s the next step in Daydream Review’s evolution?

It’s a mystery to even me at the moment! My short-term plans are for my wife, Kait, who is also a member of the band, and I are moving out west – either San Diego or Los Angeles – this Summer. So, if you want to see how we fare on the west coast, keep up with us, and I’m sure we’ll have more in stock soon!

Listen to ‘Leisure’ – BELOW:

Xsnoize Author
Rebecca Haslam 92 Articles
Rebecca writes about pretty much any and all music but is a big pop-rock-indie fan. She loves the likes of Panic!. Fall Out Boy and Green Day, but is pretty old school too with Roxette and ABBA on many of her playlists. When not writing, she enjoys travelling far and wide, attending theatre and music shows, reading and spending time with friends.

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