Just over a decade since introducing their surf-splashed strand of indie, ‘The Main Thing’ sees Real Estate switch untethered escapism for a more ambiguous route. Carrying a titular nod to Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’, the New Jersey group are found plying melancholia through a coming-of-age lens - adopting the latter album’s creative maturity, if not its ‘80s sophisti-pop shimmer. In some sense, this slicker approach doesn’t seem much of a surprise, having recently developed their own wine brand, but it does represent the band committing further to a less definable image.
That said, playful guitar-pop remains a feature, boasting plenty of hazy moments while borrowing broader influences than that dabbled with on the likes of ‘Atlas’ or ‘In Mind’. Frontman Martin Courtney ably orbits through the ‘Moon Safari’-like weekender chillout of ‘Friday’ - honeyed vocals basking in ‘Gone’’s golden rays, lilting through the nostalgic longing of ‘Shallow Sun’: “twenty-five in twenty ten / never going back again”. Torn between old habits and a limber, more flexible stance, this fifth album stands as a misty mix of downtempo vibes with sombre, often questioning lyrics - Real Estate strike out here, thriving in the art of surprise and subversion.
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They’re sharing the title track today too!
The group have also shared new song ‘Paper Cup’, featuring Sylvan Esso.
They released their latest album ‘In Mind’ last year.
The band are encouraging viewers to create their own kaleidoscopic creations.