Real Estate: Swooning And Shimmering Guitar Pop

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Real Estate performs in the Soundcheck studio.

Real Estate's summery brand of indie pop draws its warmth from the veins of Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell; the melodies are crisp, the guitars shimmering and Martin Courtney's lyrics are evocative. Since its last record, 2011’s Days, the original trio -- Courtney, Matt Mondanile, and Alex Bleeker -- has now expanded to a quintet, adding new full-time members Jackson Pollis on drums and Matt Kallman on keyboard. And after touring extensively on Days, Real Estate stopped off at Wilco’s Chicago studio The Loft last summer and fall to tease out a new batch of tunes with producer Tom Schick.

Recorded in just two weeks, the result is Atlas, which is set to drop in March.

Whether the title is a meditation on life on the road, or a display of dislocation between their origins in Ridgewood N.J. and their current home in New York, the album is an extension and outgrowth of Real Estate’s remarkably cohesive and easy-sound. And if the first single, the swooning "Talking Backwards," is any indication, the hallmarks of Days are there, but brighter: The mantra-like repetitive guitar licks, the damp drumming, the round bass -- and what can only be described as the ever-present sound of sunshine. 

This segment originally aired on Feb. 4, 2014.


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Set List:

  • "Talking Backwards"
  • "The Bend"
  • "April's Song"