New Audio: Chicago’s Daydream Review Shares Ethereal and Painterly “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?”

Elijah Montez is a Chicago-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, frontman, and creative mastermind behind Daydream Review. After relocating from Austin to Chicago, Montez and Daydream Review began catching the attention of Chicago’s leading tastemakers and beyond with the release of 2020’s “Blossom” and 2021’s retro-tinged, self-titled debut EP.

Last summer, the Chicago-based artist released two tracks, an A-side “Sensory Deprivation” and a B-side “Dream Sequence #29,” as a palette cleanser after his self-titled debut EP and a teaser of new material. Along with the release of material that quickly established Montez as one of Chicago’s most buzz-worthy artists, he has spent plenty of time on the road with his backing band featuring Kaitlyn Murphy (backing vocals and auxiliary percussion) and a rotating group of friends.

Montez’s Daydream Review debut, the 13-song Leisure is slated for an April 7, 2023 release through Side Hustle Records. The album reportedly sees the Chicago-based artist aiming to expand upon the layered sonic world he has created — and continuing to push the boundaries of modern psych pop with dynamic production and reflective, existential lyricism. “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,” Montez explains. ” 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.”

That uneasy balancing act between work and free time informed much of the album’s creation and its themes. “Leisure,” Montez adds “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.”

“Have You Found What You’re Looking For,” Leisure‘s first single is a mellowm and ethereal slow-burn centered around painterly, shoegazy textures: glistening, delay and reverb pedaled guitar, fluttering synth arpeggios and a trippy groove are paired with Montez’s equally ethereal and plaintive delivery. At its core, the song sees its narrator asking himself — and in turn, his listener — if they’ve found what they’ve been looking for, with the tacit understanding that they may never actually find it anyway.

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.” 

Speaking to the production and cyclical pattern of its rhythm, Montez says, “I think that’s reflected in the sonic quality of the song, this repetition and cycling through your thoughts and having that “a-ha” moment, where you realize you’re looking for something that may not come.”