This is my New Music Review of ‘The Main Thing’ by Real Estate. I really like these guys, rambling, downtempo, Americana with an understated feel. I really appreciate the high-quality production in these albums and indeed Atlas, their last but one album is a regular listen in my HiFi reviews. When their founder Matt Mondanile left (under an alleged cloud) I was left a bit disappointed and the next release ‘In Mind’ did little for me. However, this is more like it. Although I am streaming with Tidal this is a two-LP album
This album lands at an opportune time since I have the very best electronics I’ve ever had (see below), although they’re going home next week. I’ve generally found albums like this (or Fleet Foxes, or Delines, Bombay Bicycle Club, etc.) need several listens, although this goes contrary to my Review philosophy (see About). This album is working out of the blocks in a ‘War on Drugs’ way (that’s positive by the way). It is lyrical, interesting, indie surf music and generally, I’m liking it.
Lead writer, Real Estate’s Martin Courtney explained in a press release;
“The Main Thing” is my attempt at writing an inspirational anthem for anyone who’s ever been in an existential crisis… specifically, me. I was asking myself a lot of uncomfortable questions throughout the process of making this album. Wondering if being an artist is irresponsible or selfish, particularly with the world in the state that it’s in, particularly as a parent of young kids. This was the last song I wrote for this album, and I think it kind of distills where I found myself at the end of what turned out to be a long and extremely rewarding process: psyched on the power of music, for real!
This is all a bit heavy and very Coldplay in these times. Though I gather there is a bit of tongue in cheek both lyrically and in this quote too. I’m on a second listen and this is going nicely, there’s a bit of guitar led Johnny Marr in here occasionally, maybe that’s what I’m liking?
Paper Cup (feat. Sylvan Esso) ****
Falling Down ****
Also A But ***
The Main Thing ****
Shallow Sun ***
Silent World ****
Album – The Main Thing
Artist – Real Estate
Label – Domino
Released – 28 February 2020
Download These At Least – Friday, Silent World, The Main Thing
Source – Tidal
Player – Moon by Simaudio 780D v2 streaming DAC
Amplification – Moon by Simaudio 700i v2 integrated amplifier
Output – Paradigm Persona 3F
Cables – Nordost XLR and Atlas Mavros speaker cable