Real Estate – Days

Rating: ★★★★½

With the release of their self-titled album, Real Estate practically made themselves a household name among the indie rock cognoscente.  Not that their second release, Days, is upon us, things look even brighter, with a more refined sound filled to the brim with such pristine pop moments that it’ll be hard not to give the group recognition.

Opener “Easy” instantly brings the jangling guitar lines to the surface, leaving room for sailing melodies to burst through.  But, the ensuing track, “Green Aisles,” which is a bit of a long jaunt, really emphasizes the inherent warmth in the sonic craftwork of Real Estate.  Guitar lines gently glide, as if the band’s dialing in sunshine from within their recording space.  It all seems so effortless, as if the group’s been doing this for years…and they probably have.

“It’s Real” might have won over fans immediately upon its release as the lead single, but it’s just another sign that Days was perhaps designed with the longevity of the tracks in mind.  Soaring “oohs” might be a bit over-utilized by musicians in this pop spectrum, but there’s a hardness to the steady drumming that makes it more than just your average fare.  Still, other tracks are equally as successful within this recording, clearly willing to be played through your stereo for years to come. “Out of Tune” is perhaps my personal favorite, seeming to resonate in the past of California popsters of years gone by.  Despite two solid verses, this track holds onto a bit of guitar noodling, which, having listened to it on repeat a dozen times or slow, still sounds incredible (and not like “jamming” at all).

I’m sure that someone’s going to call the band out for creating a sound that doesn’t offer enough differentiation for your modern listener, but “Wonder Years” is a track that breaks out of the mold.  For one, it seems that Alex Bleeker might have taken over the vocal duties, giving a new quality to Real Estate. The more you let this song unfold, with its “doo-doo” humming and odd background solo, the more you just fall in love with the track.  It’s be nice to see more such moments coming from the trio in the future.

All in all, it’s hard to say anything truly negative about the entirety of Days.  Yes, it doesn’t grab you by the throat forcing you to fall in love, but it does more in being an unassuming collection of some of the most endearing pop tunes we’ve heard.  That alone should be enough to encourage you to pick up this latest release from the group, but if not, then the fact that Real Estate is sure to continue to be on everyone’s radar/blog/podcast for some time will eventually force your hand; give in now; you’ll be grateful you did.