Published Oct 30, 2015Many Moons is the first solo offering from Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney. Though not a radical departure from the mellow vibe of his main gig, Many Moons takes Courtney just far enough outside of his comfort zone to make this an interesting standalone record, much more than just a collection of Real Estate castoffs. The nostalgia-soaked tunes you'd expect are definitely here, but with a paisley underground haze that helps to differentiate these songs from the Real Estate catalogue.
Real Estate records resonate largely because they give weight to the everyday trials and tribulations of aging and adult life. Many Moons mines similar territory through its ten melancholy tracks — Courtney reminisces about time spent in "black mould basements and fenced in yards" on "Vestiges," celebrates the simple pleasure of "knowing nothing can reach me" on a road trip in "Little Blue" and reflects on the lonely life of the travelling family man on "Airport Bar." None of these songs break new ground, but there's an emotional heft to them that will appeal to anyone previously drawn in by Real Estate's bittersweet take on modern existence. It also happens to be a flat-out great-sounding record, with timeless production and lots of subtle hooks to reel in fans of classic, understated pop.
Many Moons is another deceptively simple, cohesive statement from an artist who is becoming more accomplished with each release. Martin Courtney has expanded, however slightly, on the Real Estate sound while continuing to find beauty in the seemingly mundane. (Domino)