For much of their five year existence, the Ridgewood New Jersey band Real Estate have been defined their jangly, relaxed, guitar-driven music. Perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons, the laid-back vibes are a source of comfort to shed away the stresses of the work week. Buoyed by its pleasantness, it is easy to dismiss the music of the band as being too safe. Which shouldn’t be the case. Real Estate‘s music may be familiar, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it.
With their newest and third record Atlas coming up, it seems Real Estate are out to prove their detractors wrong. Rather than change up the way they play their music though, the band digs in and gets to the heart of what makes their music works – its warmth. For all the complaints of the lackadaisical easiness of Real Estate‘s songs, it is also the one elements that defines them and endears them to listeners. For it is that easiness that warms the heart of the listeners. Atlas is a superior version of that warmth.
With Atlas, Real Estate core members Martin Courtney (lead vocals), Matt Mondanile (guitars), and Alex Bleeker (bass) are joined by drummer Jackson Pollis and former Girls keyboardist Matt Kallman to form a solid group of five. Together, they worked with producer Tom Schick and recorded at Jeff Tweedy’s Chicago studio. The access of the full studio has allowed the band to employ a palette of sound that is just sonically fuller and more filling. By increasing its production, the warm pleasing tones of Real Estate‘s music gets emphasized. Twinges of sunshine and nostalgia easily filters through like never before. Before long, the songs of Atlas will just as easily feel as if they are your own as they of the band’s. The result is a record that hits that perfect sweet spot of comfort.
Atlas is not only Real Estate‘s best record to date but is also one of the best records of this young year. I loved this one.
Real Estate are coming to St Louis. They’ll be playing at The Firebird on 3/28 (tickets here)
Watch the video for the increasingly pleasing first single Talking Backwards embedded below.
Real Estate – Atlas comes out 3/4 via Domino (order here)