Real Estate have been a band for ten years now. Their career hasn’t been without controversy, but their breezy and bright guitar-pop has consistently set them apart in a crowded genre.
And while 2017’s misfire In Mind found the band in a complicated period of adjustment, the reassuring warmth they were missing returns on The Main Thing – the band’s best album since 2014’s unparalleled Atlas.
The Main Thing just misses the same heights as Atlas or 2011’s Days, but the hallmarks of frontman Martin Courtney’s songwriting are shining once again, and the band feel closer to their singular vision of dream pop than they have in a long time.
This time, Courtney’s lyrics explore the band’s concerns and those of millennials everywhere: existential crises, environmental anxiety and political problems. “Soon you’ll be awake/and you’ll have to get used to it,” he sings on ‘You’, before Julian Lynch breaks into a smooth-lounge guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a Roy Ayers record.
Atlas and Days worked because they converted Proustian-esque feelings into wonderfully simple songs evoking nostalgic feelings of suburban summers and long-lost dog days. The Main Thing works because it sees Real Estate hone in on exactly that: getting back to the dreamy, forlorn indie rock they do best.