Published Mar 04, 2014For a record called Atlas, the third LP from Real Estate has an oddly ambivalent relationship with space and time. On the one hand, vocalist/guitarist Martin Courtney's lyrics suggest a man in flux, not sure what's next ("Horizon") or if that matters ("Had to Hear"). Conversely, he has no illusions about holding onto the past ("Past Lives").
In short, he's in transition, yet his band has never been more confident. The quintet still has no interest in trends or flavours du jour — don't expect any electro dalliances — instead playing lazy-day guitar songs with nothing lazy about them. From the winding guitars of "The Bend" to the irresistible stutter-step melody of "Talking Backwards," the immaculately produced affair is entirely assured and richer than it initially sounds. It's amiable, deceptively dense and, ultimately, rewarding. (Domino)