A new lease on music


A new lease on music

Imagine you’re experiencing the best weekend of your life at a music festival.

The final band of the festival just left the stage after playing an encore that the crowd would not stop begging for. You walk back to your campsite knowing you have yet to come down from the exhilaration—the thrill— but you’re beginning to. The lush, dewy grass scrunches beneath your toes as you pick up your trash around the site and pack up your Toyota Land Cruiser for the long drive home. The perfect sun-soaked days and starlit nights, the strangers-turned-friends, and the live music leave you changed forever.

This bittersweet feeling, this melancholic but contented mood is the essence of Real Estate’s third, most emotional and best album yet, “Atlas.”

From the reminiscent qualities on the second track, “Past Lives,” to the completely instrumental fourth track, “April’s Song,” there is a contemplative, lamenting vibe throughout the entire album. It is deep yet tangible for the common man, and it touches places Real Estate hadn’t yet gone on their past two albums.

This record is definitive and the most accurate interpretation of who Real Estate truly is.

“How Might I Live” is an attempt to say ‘I don’t love you,’ while the next track, “Horizon,” is the opposite. It is an account of awakening to the realization that your perfect person is actually experiencing life right along with you.

Personally, the album hooked me on the fifth track, “The Bend.” Not only do the lyrics “have I not been clear or do I sound insincere” describe my life to a tee, but Real Estate takes seemingly cliché rhyming phrases and completely makes them work.

And while lead vocalist Martin Courtney continues to sing, “I’m just trying to make some sense of this before I lose another year,” he identifies with every person’s complex relationships. The track’s time signature suddenly changes at about 4:15 and leaves us with an imaginably sunny and blissful minute of drums, electric guitar and satisfaction.

As if the first 36 minutes and 30 seconds weren’t good enough, “Atlas” ends with “Navigator,” the most gorgeously composed song of theirs yet. Depicting a tender, peaceful romance happening across “the kitchen floor,” this final track wraps up the homey bliss Real Estate has dubbed “Atlas.

The only bad thing anyone could possibly have to say about this album is that all of the tracks sound the same. I bid you to look past your stubbornness and into the delicacies and nuances that each song has to offer. These 10 artfully yet seemingly effortlessly crafted tracks will move and transform you if you let them.

Overall, “Atlas” is a love, loss and lazily playing all weekend in the sheets with breakfast in bed kind of album. This dreamy New Jersey band has done it once again and better than ever.