I mean, I should’ve known what I was getting myself into.
When I first listened to Real Estate’s eponymous album, I was instantly transported back to Ridgewood, New Jersey in that hazy summer of 2008, where high school buddies Alex, Matt, Martin, and Etienne reunited to just “hang out.”
And what a summer it was. We shared laughs at those late night beach bonfires, threw back a couple of Budweiser-Sprites, and recalled our old neighborhood hijinks through song.
See, here I am listening to their croon in those classic backyard sessions.
But life moved on, and so did the band. After their first album, it was time to grow up. The drummer was replaced and they set out to clean up their lo-fi sound.
To commemorate the golden epoch of their childhood Jersey days, the band recorded their second album Days with a clean shimmer. As the kings of that laid-back, nostalgia vibe, they fondly reminisced. Nothing back then was simple, but the swirling, resonating guitar work of Matt intertwines so gently with Alex’s warm tenor, that those times you were “just trying to figure it out” instead become a dreamy world of escape. What once was memory, now is oh so real.
Alas, nothing lasts forever, and Real Estate continued to grow older and mature. And miraculously, the boys started to turn into men. In their latest album Atlas, no longer is Real Estate just tossing around catchy melodies. They added a keyboardist and are getting down to some serious business.
You’ll find them looking into the night sky, asking why the seasons change. In their single “Talking Backwards”, Alex ponders how to do things right. Maybe it’s time to settle down with the wife, delve into fatherhood, and grasp onto something meaningful before existence washes over us all. The future is uncertain, but we think we’re going to make it.
Real Estate is grappling at the mysteries of life, and you if you catch the lyrics, you may learn a lesson or two.
And they’re spreading the good word. Not only did Real Estate pre-release all their tracks for free on iTunes Radio, they also performed the entire album for an NPR First Listen Live at New York City’s SubCulture. These selfless, nonchalant promotions take the band past the next level of “chill. Now I can’t help but listen to these easy-going indie rockers all day.
The problem is I can’t help but tune the fuck out. Once the record’s on, the jams won’t quit. The reverb is literally disintegrating my body, and I think I’m in some sort of gaseous state. Like an ethereal airspace of sorts, I’m not quite sure.
listen at your own risk.