Real Estate - Days - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Real Estate - Days

by Alexandra Pett Rating:8 Release Date:2011-10-17

I recently heard someone describe the new Real Estate album - Days - as 'wallpaper,' the glo-fi equivalent of a cheap beige flock from B&Q. It's an argument that's often advanced against albums like this, that take more than one listen to filter in through the chaos of hangovers, deadlines and overdrafts.
Admittedly there is an element of background to Real Estate's dreamy motifs, but even so you can't deny their effect. And this album will affect you. Like Real Estate's other missives of hazy, languorous indie-pop, it might not make you want to get on a chair and throw your hands in the air but you'll feel its warmth. Take the track 'Easy', the aural equivalent of a cashmere jumper and a mug of tea; whatever the kind of day you've had, put this on and suddenly everything feels brighter. "Round the fields we run with love for everyone," they sing, and there it is right there, the essence of 'Days': hazy, sunny summer recall, faded denim on lithe young limbs and smiling youthful, hopeful faces.

The 'kids in summer' theme is one that continues throughout the album - through the upbeat 'It's Real' ("I carved our names into a tree") and into 'Green Aisles,' a slow, noodling track, whose gentle reprimand for a careless lifestyle isn't really that at all - hey, you're still young so it's ok. Even in 'Wonder Years', which seems to reek of unrequited or lost love, there's no real bitterness: "I'm not ok but I guess I'm doing fine." The sepia wash of the chillwave genre that Real Estate partially inhabits gives everything a sense of stoned contentedness which smacks of those years before you've had your heart broken for the first time, or realized just how much tax you're going to have to pay.

Journey song 'Out of Tune' and the melodic 'Municipality' add their threads to the dreamy scenes of 'Days', with the guitar taking centre stage, weaving its warm and fuzzy magic around the listener, in the same way as a Washed Out or Toro Y Moi album does. Of the other tracks, 'Kinder Blumen' is the kind of entirely instrumental interlude that's a bit of a risk for bands playing to an ADHD generation, but Real Estate have this jamming down to a tee - they've done it before with tracks like 'Atlantic City' and 'Suburban Beverage' on their self-titled 2009 album - a lyric here and there but mostly endless landscapes of chords hypnotizing the listener into a state of extreme contemplativeness.

Real Estate seem quietly determined to do things their way, with genuine, handcrafted tracks which gorge on guitar. Although lyrically, this album might seem to have more in common with summer flings, you can tell from the continuity between Real Estate and Days, as well as from the band's other projects - Matthew Mondanile in Ducktails, Alex Bleeker in Alex Bleeker and the Freaks - how much commitment this band have to this sound. OK, so Days might not change your life, but at least you know that this Real Estate album won't break your heart.

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