I used to be on the fence about Real Estate. It seemed really boring — identical to other jangly surf-pop groups like Beach Fossils and Best Coast. Also, my friends from home were obsessed with it, deterring me from the group even more. (I have this personality where I don’t like things that other people like.)
I finally decided to give Real Estate a chance after listening to its first single, “It’s Real,” from the group’s sophomore album, Days. I listened to it on the music blog Gorilla vs. Bear on a whim, and I instantly loved it — it’s ridiculously catchy. Although my expectations were set unreasonably high after listening to “It’s Real,” I fell in love with Real Estate’s new album as soon as I listened to the first track.
Days is a beautiful album. It’s structurally simple but melodically complex. Featuring autumnal guitar-pop with soft vocals, nostalgic lyrics, and breezy melodies, the album is accessible and puts listeners at ease. Its effortless catchiness recalls Pavement, while its intricately composed songs are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac. All of the songs are generally related in lyrical content and melody in that they evoke a coming-of-age melancholy. I could imagine Holden Caulfield listening to this album as he contemplatively walked around New York City in the fall. It’s actually the perfect album to soundtrack your walk on a warm autumn day— there’s a reference to “decomposing leaves” in one of the songs that will either make you chuckle or roll your eyes in exasperation during your stroll.
Real Estate is coming to Garfield Artworks on Nov. 20, and I’m definitely going. Garfield Artworks is the perfect venue for the group — it’s small and intimate, and it has interesting art lining the walls. Even if you have a lot of work, which seems to be the most common excuse for Carnegie Mellon students to not do things, you should go to hear some great music.