Real Estate - Atlas

‘Atlas’ is about the hours catching up on themselves.

Label: Domino

Rating:

On 2011 LP ‘Days’, Real Estate looked to have almost out-zenned themselves. Kicking back and letting loose of the limbs, there hasn’t been a more fitting companion to an awakening spring since its release - which says a lot. A good deal of focus afforded to this band tends to hone in at the aesthetic, an hours-going-by swing that would be nothing without its melodic touch. There’s more to Real Estate than sedated sun-stroked days outside, but they’d be forgiven for turning the other key and opting for a new direction.

Instead they’ve stayed resolute, to the lazy day slumber and indeed to the boiling frustration that defines their previous record’s when given closer inspection. ‘Talking Backwards’ is a song bemoaning the perils of long distance relationships, ‘Past Lives’ expresses how out of place it feels in its old hometown and ‘The Bend’ fizzes up in indecision, Martin Courtney singing ‘I’m just trying to find some sense in this, before I lose another year.’

If ‘Days’ concerned itself with being so damn chilled it didn’t matter about the time speeding by, ‘Atlas’ is about the hours catching up on themselves. Anxious about the days ahead, there’s always a pair of gritted teeth and twitching eyes delivering this seemingly casual collection. Again, Real Estate can be approached in two ways. They’re either the band countering a hazy glow with sharp pop songwriting, or they’re up to their neck in good vibes, unable to express anything from beneath the fog. They’ve never sounded sharper, that’s for sure. Instrumental ‘April’s Song’ is somehow a standout, simply because it affirms just how tight-knit a bunch these Brooklynites are. Through lulling endless days to fretting thoughts about the future, they remain the same bunch, capable of making the impossible sound almost too easy.