10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Certain art forms are deceptively simple: calligraphy, still-life painting, dream pop. In the case of the last, details like the shimmer of a ride cymbal or the exact tone of a clean guitar can make all the difference. To listen to Atlas, the exquisitely produced third album from New Jersey's Real Estate, is to hear a quartet of master practitioners of the dream pop craft. Casually sanguine yet precisely composed, the album is moody but not mournful, peppy but not cloying. In the grand tradition of bands like Luna, Heavenly, and The Sundays, the songs here rarely feature more than a few chords, a few parts, or a few lyrical ideas (the suburbs, fatherhood)—yet everything fits together perfectly. Matt Mondanile's lead guitar is playful but not ostentatious, expertly complementing Martin Courtney's plainspoken vocals, his languid phrasings soaring above the gentle din. Snare drums sizzle and pop, basslines pogo gracefully, the mood is wistful and breezy. The cascading guitar riff of "Talking Backwards" will have you dreaming of The Smiths, while the cowpunk swing of "Horizon" shows off just how many tricks Real Estate have up their sleeve.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Certain art forms are deceptively simple: calligraphy, still-life painting, dream pop. In the case of the last, details like the shimmer of a ride cymbal or the exact tone of a clean guitar can make all the difference. To listen to Atlas, the exquisitely produced third album from New Jersey's Real Estate, is to hear a quartet of master practitioners of the dream pop craft. Casually sanguine yet precisely composed, the album is moody but not mournful, peppy but not cloying. In the grand tradition of bands like Luna, Heavenly, and The Sundays, the songs here rarely feature more than a few chords, a few parts, or a few lyrical ideas (the suburbs, fatherhood)—yet everything fits together perfectly. Matt Mondanile's lead guitar is playful but not ostentatious, expertly complementing Martin Courtney's plainspoken vocals, his languid phrasings soaring above the gentle din. Snare drums sizzle and pop, basslines pogo gracefully, the mood is wistful and breezy. The cascading guitar riff of "Talking Backwards" will have you dreaming of The Smiths, while the cowpunk swing of "Horizon" shows off just how many tricks Real Estate have up their sleeve.

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4:50
4:33
3:07
3:32
5:12
3:15
4:16
2:29
3:11
3:33

About Real Estate

New Jersey's Real Estate stake their claim to a warm, hazy style of indie rock with breezy melodies. The band was formed in Ridgewood by lead singer/guitarist Martin Courtney (Predator Vision and formerly Titus Andronicus), guitarist Matthew Mondanile (Ducktails), bassist Alex Bleeker (Alex Bleeker & the Freaks), and drummer Etienne Duguay (Predator Vision). The foursome had played together in bands -- including a Weezer cover band -- during high school, but didn't become Real Estate until Courtney returned to the Garden State after attending college in Olympia, Washington. After forming in summer 2008, the band began playing live that fall and released the Suburban Beverage 7", which introduced Real Estate's brand of surfy, lo-fi pop, early in 2009. A song on the Underwater Peoples Records Showcase and the Fake Blues EP appeared that summer. The band spent the fall touring with Girls before its self-titled debut was released by Woodsist.

The quartet joined the Domino Records roster in 2011 for its sophomore album, Days, which hit the shelves that fall as well as several Billboard charts, including the rock, alternative, independent, and vinyl albums charts. It reached number 52 on the Billboard 200. Shortly following its release, the band went through a lineup change with Duguay dropping out; he was replaced by drummer Jackson Pollis. The group was also joined at that point by auxiliary member Jonah Maurer on keyboards and additional guitars. This new assemblage of Real Estate toured feverishly for the well-received Days, though by their return in 2014 with third album Atlas, Maurer had been replaced by Matt Kallman. That LP went on to rank higher on all the same charts, landing in the Billboard 200's Top 40. Following a short break for other projects, including Courtney's solo debut, in May of 2016 Real Estate announced that Mondanile was leaving the band to focus on Ducktails. He was replaced by Julian Lynch, and the quintet of Courtney, Bleeker, Pollis, Kallman, and Lynch released In Mind in March 2017. ~ Heather Phares & Marcy Donelson

  • ORIGIN
    Ridgewood, NJ
  • FORMED
    2008

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