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Real Estate Maps New Neighborhood

1 minute read

The power of Real Estate’s sophomore album, 2011’s Days, was hidden in the sunshine-beckoning feel of the New Jersey band’s braiding guitars paired with Martin Courtney’s throw-pillow-soft vocals, suggesting stakes no higher than Atlantic tide crashes at ankle depth. By never raising its voice, the album demanded we lean in to appreciate it. Almost three years later, the arrangements on Atlas are the densest Real Estate has ever attempted, shading the band’s sunshine into something palpably more mysterious, like a sunset in inclement weather. On “Talking Backwards,” one of the best songs Real Estate has ever made, the band constructs a Technicolor groove to support Courtney (pictured) as he airs terrifying relationship doubts with disproportionate calm: “The only thing that really matters/ Is the one thing I can’t seem to do.”


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