Real Estate



Real Estate have a comforting kind of sound. It has persisted throughout their career, and their new album is no exception. Lead single ‘Water Underground’ carries over the spirit of fun that was there in 2011’s ‘It’s Real’, the hit that catapulted them into worldwide indie prominence, to which I listened on vinyl again and again when it was released. 13 years on from that “uplifting tale of youthful innocence and budding romance” (according to Genius) Real Estate are more interested in “the unconscious, the mysterious part of your brain where creativity comes from,” as frontman and lyricist Martin Courtney has put it – “the constant flow of music in the back of your head.”

Daniel is their sixth and most mature album, yet it maintains a sense of youthfulness and spontaneity. Even when worry and discomfort make an appearance in the lyrics, which happens in tracks like ‘Haunted World’ or ‘Interior’ the delicacy of the guitars – which forgo the sharpest jangle in favour of silky slide sonorities – relaxes and lightens the mood. It’s a not-so-subtle influence of the place the band spent nine hectic days recording Daniel with Grammy-winning producer Daniel Tashian: RCA Studio A in Nashville, particularly evident on the mellow ‘Victoria’ and its distant reminiscence of Link Wray’s ‘Fallin’ Rain’. After being forced to live apart for the past few years, Real Estate spent their time in Nashville in a shared rental and found themselves in a renewed domestic partnership which helped the group get closer and closer, and not just for the lack of living space.

While ‘Freeze Brain’ marks the highest point of this new adult sonicscape, taking inspiration from many eras of pop to create an almost flawless tune, it’s up to ‘Say No More’ to be the most classically Real Estate-esque track on the album, even though it has a touch of remotely psychedelic reverbs and effects that remind us of Tame Impala’s best work – an impression that runs straight through the subsequent ‘Airdrop’.

Daniel is yet another development in the career of a band that can update and improve while staying true to their own style without diluting its character. Their guitars have a happy, resonant sound that’s a welcome balm in tough times; however, every now and then, they could benefit from a good jolt.