The Burger Records alumni release their second album, When the Morning Greets You.
BY EMILY NIMPTSCH
With its booming drums, silky bass lines, and bellowing organs, Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel’s psych pop features ‘70s influences in perfect harmony with a more contemporary chillwave sound.
Formed five years ago by Thomas Dolas and Justin Martinez, the band is set to officially release their sophomore album When the Morning Greets You on Feb. 10 via Rad Cat Records, though the party starts earlier than that at tonight’s record release show hosted by The Echo.
Dolas and his bandmates discovered psychedelic music in their early days through skateboarding. Deciding to add their own voices to the mix, Dolas and Martinez began playing shows as a trio with bassist Wyatt Blair as Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel.
After settling in Los Angeles in 2013, the band released their debut album, Nico & Her Psychedelic Subconscious with Burger Records and started playing with Thee Oh Sees, The Fresh & Onlys, The Black Lips, and Allah-Las. Nico draws comparisons to the Doors and Donovan for its feel-good vintage sound. It’s modern synth arrangements create an atmospheric soundscape that perfectly augments the album’s weightless, mind-bending tone.
When the Morning Greets You promises this same cocktail of ‘70s and modern sounds, but this time separated onto the record’s two sides, making for a listening experience that evolves over its run-time.
Side A is a love letter to cheery, vintage pop as Side B envelops the listener in a sea of soothing synth.
“The first album was a lot of fun with us. It was like a jam band,” Dolas explains. “This new album was more actual songwriting. We were composing an album that was meant to be listened to as a full record, like a classical rock record from start to finish.”
This new release also features the effervescent single “Ending” which echoes the greatness of Let It Be-era Beatles with its kaleidoscopic sound and hazy, introspective lyrics such as “there’s nothing you can do, it all comes down to you” reverberating throughout.
Mr. Elevator’s mastery of form on When the Morning Greets You demonstrates that there is much to be learned from the annals of history while still maintaining a modern and individual perspective. While expounding on the cyclical nature of music trends, Dolas reveals why he believes psych pop is currently recapturing the hearts of listeners:
“I think everything goes through cycles. It went through ‘80s new wave, ‘90s grunge rock, and indie pop. I just think now ‘60s music and psychedelic feels special – It’s all about what you grew up with.”
Check out their single below, “Sunshine Daydream”: