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Real Estate - Daniel (Album Review)

Friday, 01 March 2024 Written by Matthew McLister

Photo: Sinna Nasseri

Over the past 15 years, Real Estate have mastered the sort of gentle jangle-pop that might soundtrack days spent at the beach following sunny road trips along coastal highways. They might one day veer from the blacktop but their sixth album continues to follow that road, drawing strength from its comforting sense of familiarity.

But that’s not to say new faces or locales can’t shift their perspective on things. ‘Daniel’ is the result of nine days spent recording in Nashville with producer Daniel Tashian, and it’s safe to assume Real Estate were happy with the final product given they appear to have named the record after him.

Reflecting their surroundings, a country influence also pops up on occasion. Flowers has been described by the band as “the closest Real Estate will ever get to like a Shania Twain style country rocker” even if it doesn’t quite betray their typical jangly style.

Later, though, they go all out on Victoria thanks to the introduction of pedal steel, rolling piano and a down-home vocal from bassist Alex Bleekman.

Elsewhere, the LP’s first half breezes by effortlessly. Opener Somebody New has heaps of charm, aided by gleaming guitars and Martin Courtney’s deliberate vocals (“Hey, buddy, what’s got into you?” he asks repeatedly in the closing refrain). 

There's an exciting psych vibe to the percussive Freeze Brain and Haunted World is a gorgeous earworm that pulls off the oldest trick in the pop book by contrasting wounded, paranoid lyrics with chirpy acoustic strumming and sun-kissed riffs. 

This is something of a recurring theme. Now in his late 30s, Courtney's lyrics are steeped in nostalgia and melancholia without ever swamping their shimmering guitars. And while ‘Daniel’ only scratches the surface of its new textures, it’s hard not to find joy in these beautifully crafted songs. 

Real Estate Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri March 01 2024 - VANCOUVER British Columbia - Hollywood Theatre (Canada)
Sat March 02 2024 - SEATTLE Washington - Showbox (USA)
Sun March 03 2024 - SEATTLE - Showbox at the Market (USA)
Tue March 05 2024 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Urban Lounge (USA)
Wed March 06 2024 - ENGLEWOOD Colorado - Gothic Theatre (USA)
Fri March 08 2024 - SANTA FE New Mexico - Meow Wolf - Santa Fe (USA)
Sat March 09 2024 - PHOENIX Arizona - Crescent Ballroom (USA)
Sun March 10 2024 - SAN DIEGO California - Observatory North Park (USA)
Mon March 11 2024 - LOS ANGELES California - Bellwether (USA)
Wed March 13 2024 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Bimbo's 365 Club (USA)
Fri April 05 2024 - MONTREAL - Beanfield Theatre (USA)
Sat April 06 2024 - TORONTO Ontario - Concert Hall at Toronto Masonic Temple (Canada)
Sun April 07 2024 - DETROIT Michigan - El Club (USA)
Mon April 08 2024 - MILWAUKEE Wisconsin - Vivarium (USA)
Wed April 10 2024 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - Fine Line Music Cafe (USA)
Thu April 11 2024 - CHICAGO Illinois - Thalia Hall (USA)
Fri April 12 2024 - LAKEWOOD Ohio - Mahall's (USA)
Sat April 13 2024 - MILLVALE - Mr Smalls Theater (USA)
Mon April 15 2024 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - 9:30 Club (USA)
Tue April 16 2024 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Union Transfer (USA)
Wed April 17 2024 - BOSTON Massachusetts - Royale Boston (USA)
Thu April 18 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Webster Hall - Complex (USA)
Fri April 19 2024 - NORWALK Connecticut - Wall Street Theater - Norwalk (USA)
Sat April 20 2024 - WOODSTOCK New York - Levon Helm Studios (USA)
Thu May 16 2024 - HOUSTON Texas - Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall - Complex (USA)
Fri May 17 2024 - AUSTIN Texas - Scoot Inn (USA)
Sat May 18 2024 - FORT WORTH Texas - Tannahill's Tavern and Music Hall (USA)
Mon May 20 2024 - KANSAS CITY Missouri - Truman (USA)
Tue May 21 2024 - ST LOUIS - Delmar Hall (USA)
Wed May 22 2024 - LOUISVILLE Kentucky - Whirling Tiger (USA)
Thu May 23 2024 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Basement East (USA)
Fri May 24 2024 - ASHEVILLE North Carolina - Orange Peel (USA)
Sat May 25 2024 - SAXAPAHAW North Carolina - Haw River Ballroom (USA)
Sun May 26 2024 - ATLANTA Georgia - Variety Playhouse (USA)

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