There are a number of words that keep cropping up in relation to the music of New Jersey’s Real Estate, and none of them are particularly rock ‘n’ roll: gentle, familiar, easy-going, mellow… not exactly the kind of descriptions that are guaranteed to light the fire of excitement under your average 21st century indie kid. It’s a testament, then, to the trio’s mastery of their chosen subject that they find themselves three years and barely a dozen songs into their career with a loyal and sizeable fan-base waiting with baited breath for more of the same. Days, the follow-up to the group’s self-titled 2009 debut, doubles the size of their catalogue, but despite sanding down some of its rougher edges, Martin Courtney, Matthew Monadile and Alex Bleeker have left their winning formula pretty much untouched. Their music still has a shambling, effortless feel, with Monadile’s crystalline, overlapping guitar lines sounding like Johnny Marr jamming with the Feelies, and a healthy dash of big, echoing “whoa whoa” choruses; Courtney’s lyrics, meanwhile, still stir up a bittersweet (imagined?) nostalgia with their references to teenage crushes and the mundanities of suburban life. If Big Troubles’ similarly excellent Romantic Comedy offered a particularly effective modern take on the brighter side of ’80s jangle-pop, then Days could be its melancholy – and slightly stoned – cousin, and in the likes of “Out Of Tune”, “Easy” and “It’s Real” the band have produced some of the year’s catchiest and most enduring songs.
Listen: “It’s Real” http://soundcloud.com/dominorecordco/real-estate-its-real
Days is out now on Domino Recording Co.