Real Estate have jangled far and wide, at this point, but Martin Courtney's band of dulcet soft rockers were in their early osmosis on Days, where they started honing their craft with close and co-dependent guitars playing out gorgeously anonymous songs of summer. Listening to Days is something like walking down an empty cul-de-sac under a late night sun.
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- Days by Real Estate
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I don't know if I'm just going soft in my old age but I love this sophomore effort from NJ's Real Estate. After an impressive debut on Woodsist, an EP on Mexican Summer and a slew of singles the group have settled in nicely to their nostalgia-inducing style and found themselves a permanent home at Domino records. 'Days' is pure genius. It's not easy to say why; it's not like they've reinvented the wheel or anything but I'd argue they've done a fine job of refining the design. Ten tracks and not a duffer among them, 'Days' is a triumph in its manipulation of gentle melancholia and gorgeous melodic interplay, proving that school buddies Courtney, Mondanile and Bleeker ain't no flukesters, they are bonafide songwriting geniuses. Single 'It's Real' is a sterling example of the groups ability to craft a perfect 7” pop single and totally blew me away on first listen, then there's the wistful nature of 'Green Aisles' that somehow insists on emotional response however hard I try to resist and 'Out Of Tune' - the single that breaches the gap between 'Days' and their debut - literally takes the piss it's so good. Nowhere will I hear a song that takes the radio-friendly dinosauric AOR of mid-'70s Fleetwood Mac and reinvents it so perfectly for the jangle-generation - my mum and dad both love this song, and rightly so. Throw in a guest appearance from Dan Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never, Ford And Lopatin) on keys and you've got yourself one of the most blissful songs I've had the pleasure of hearing. The rest of the album ain't too shabby either. Bleeker's contribution 'Wonder Years' is a classic slice of '60s California, its country-tinged melody and effortless good time vibe getting itself caught up with elements of early Stone Roses singles with surprisingly excellent results. Mondanile's 'Kinder Blumen' instrumental plays up The Shadows-esque guitar interplay and brings to mind the kind of beach parties you might see in old Cliff Richard or Elvis films. The album is capped off with two outstanding numbers; 'Younger Than Yesterday' - the stand-out track of the 'Reality' EP - is treated to a full band reworking and a rare outing for the Melotron in 2011. This is topped off with 'All The Same', a track with a cyclical outro riff I could happily indulge into infinity. Never has a jangly indie-pop record sounded so understated and achingly beautiful. Album of the year, I reckon. Oh, I should probably mention that this one's coming out on a variety of formats all of which are discussed in the press release.
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