Live preview: Real Estate
The comforts of home are all this buzzy New Jersey combo needs.
Mon Nov 14 2011
Photograph: Shawn Brackbill
A romanticism of the everyday permeates Real Estate's music. The video for the band's newest single, "It's Real," finds the members of this New Jersey foursome running through fields and watching Super-8 movies with their dog. Even after seeing the world via an international tour, frontman Martin Courtney prefers to sing about old municipalities and floating on inner tubes. It's this consistent carefreeness and repose that makes the band's recently released second full-length, Days, so appealing.
Recorded in a barn upstate in New Paltz, Days echoes the strand of jangly guitar pop that propelled Real Estate's 2009 self-titled album to the top of many year-end lists. But the group's dynamic has tightened over the past two years; the influence of guitarist Matt Mondanile's side project, Ducktails, shows in the extended album closer "All the Time," while bassist Alex Bleeker drives the two-minute slab of pop that is "Wonder Years," lyrically and instrumentally. In another welcome move, keyboard lines are moved up in the mix, providing an extra layer of drone to complement the already swirling guitar lines.
Right down to the songwriting process, relaxation is imbued into this band's DNA. "'Wonder Years' came out of a jam we did on our first tour," says Courtney. "Every time we soundcheck, we jam a little bit and just goof around. Sometimes it sounds really good, but we usually forget what we played." Luckily, not this time.