If I said I like surprises you may guess I’m lying, but when they’re as reassuringly lovely as this one I’ll make an exception.
As we are still in some warped elastic time zone, it seems just the other day that Real Estate gave us their last album, the epitome of iridescence that was the The Main Thing. But here we are, it’s March 2021 already and we have six more tracks to soundtrack the slide from winter to spring.
I worry that Real Estate could fall prey to, if not “familiarity-breeding-contempt”, then at least it leading to apathy. There are artists who risk this through sheer reliability and their skill in developing in more subtle and nuanced ways. Our high turnover world likes shock and awe and shows disdain for, or simply ignores, some of the qualities Real Estate have in abundance. My advice is: never take reliability for granted and anyway, how can you ever tire of music as swoonsome as this?
Just listen closely to Half a Human, yes it jangles, but focus on those layers beneath the surface, the shifts in tempo, the sweetly hesitant bass line, the space around the instruments. Soak up that quietly ecstatic extended wordless outro. Not many bands can make this stuff seem so easy.
There are quotes from lead realtor Martin Courtney in the accompanying press release that indicate a degree of soul-searching on the literal purpose of being in a band, but thankfully he seems to reach the right conclusion, this is about the love of music. Real Estate – they may not change your world but by god they will seriously enhance it.