"The drum clock is docking and the night tide washes up synthesized environments woozy and recorded perfectly,” kicks off John Dwyer’s magniloquent description of his friend and Oh Sees bandmate Tomas Dolas’ new record as Mr. Elevator. A night tide is truly an apt way to describe Goodbye, Blue Sky, the third record from the project that formerly went by Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel. While their sophomore record, 2017’s When the Morning Greets You, was drenched in as much lustrous sun as the album title implies, Goodbye, Blue Sky truly does bid adieu to the brightness of day to welcome twilight and the mysteries of the night with open arms.
Opening track “Waiting” immediately informs us of the change of scenery. Entirely instrumental, the synth-fueled track could easily be mistaken for a Vangelis or Giorgio Moroder film score. Goodbye, fuzzy ‘60s acid-fueled psychedelia. Hello, ‘80s cinematic electronica. Okay, the acid’s still there but it’s an entirely different trip.
Goodbye, Blue Sky continues on with Dolas capturing the downtempo gauzy essence of bands like Air and Stereolab in “Love Again,” “Bamboo Forest,” and “Down.” Hints of the face-melting psychedelia Mr. Elevator is known for showing up in songs like “Alone Together,” “Kompressor,” and “Sylvia,” proving they’re not ready to fully shun their raucous ways.
The comedown of our metaphorical (or literal, if you so choose) trip is closing track “Patterns.” A drowsy synth line leads us on our journey either back to earth or off to sleep while Dolas coos a reverb-drenched lullaby of lamentation. “How can I have it all?/ I see everything surrounding/ Patterns of another time/ All around me/ Feelings nothing with a reason.”
Personally, I find Dwyer’s description/review of Goodbye, Blue Sky far more interesting, albeit more grammatically lenient, than I could put it. “In my humble opinion,” the Oh Sees frontman and Castle Records founder starts. “Mr. Elevator has risen and ascended and risen again top floor time and space, he hath bended and brain cells have been rent and spent on the wing aloft and buoyant a perfect rapid eye movement enhancer and Neuromancer.” Are you tripping yet?
Below, exclusively stream Goodbye, Blue Sky before it's released on Friday, January 17th via Castle Face Records.
KEXP interviews John Dwyer about championing other artists, the duality of running a label and running a band, and burnout while debating the age-old question: how many drummers is too many drummers?
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