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Martin Courtney - Northern Highway

It’s the sound Courtney finding his muse in being fed up and away from home.

Over time, Real Estate have cut through the haze of their early recordings with something more precise and weighed down in meaning. Frontman Martin Courtney always seemed to be at the heart of this move, his lyrics incorporating family life and growing up to the band’s tales of suburbia. It’s confirmed in Courtney’s first solo gambit.

It’s odd that Courtney is the last of Real Estate’s members to try something out on his own, but on the evidence of ‘Northern Highway’, he’s been bottling things up. A richer, more folk-rooted guitar line to his day job takes centre stage, while Courtney laments on how “I just wish I had you near me baby / I don’t have a chance in hell.” It might not be as hard-hitting as Real Estate’s ‘Talking Backwards’ in portraying long-distance relationships as a slog, but it tracks the same paths. Penned on the road, it’s the sound Courtney finding his muse in being fed up and away from home.

Tags: Martin Courtney, Reviews, Listen

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