realestate

Unremarkable places have long given rise to great music (Nirvana, Drenge… Britney Spears?). There’s something to be said about the stillness of the suburbs and some music’s ability to amplify the intimate moments, elevating the mundane into something more profound. This is a thought to bear in mind when listening to Real Estate’s third album, ‘Atlas’, a collection of songs that shimmer with the quiet loveliness of their hometown in New Jersey.

This in itself could easily be boring (or even sickening) if it weren’t for the wryness of their delivery, off-colouring the psychedelic sunny haze of wooded highways with lyrics weaved with witticisms and melancholia. “How might I live to betray you?” wonders singer Martin Courtney on eighth track ‘How Might I Live’, his voice occasionally dipping into what sounds like Stephen Malkmus in ‘Brighten The Corners’-era Pavement against a backdrop of bare, beguiling guitar. Whilst jangling melancholic pop is nothing new, rarely is it as atmospheric and evocative as it is here.

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