Real Estate

howfaraway

Alex Bleeker takes a break from his day job as bassist for Real Estate to pen himself a breakup album. While I enjoy Real Estate’s albums when I put them on, I never find myself humming them later or being able to describe a song in great detail to somebody. So I wasn’t expecting Bleeker’s side project to resonate as much as it has with me.

How Far Away is fairly similar to Real Estate in that things never seem to reach a boil. Bleeker’s effort is quite chill like most everything that Real Estate has to offer. But How Far Away is more rootsy and has plenty of Americana overtones. There’s a really nice interview with him on Emusic where he describes his love for The Dead and it is easy to see the influence from American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead coming through on this album.

While this may be a breakup album, it isn’t mopey. Bleeker is just working through some shit and it happens to have given birth to a damn good album. There’s a great quote from that Emusic interview that sums up this album quite nicely, “It’s beyond the point of just grieving and feeling sorry for yourself — it’s not sad, it’s just practical. Like, what comes next? In my case, I’m not debilitated by this thing, it’s just the reality as I wade through other relationships and try to make them work as compared to this weird gold standard.” We’ve all been there to some degree and Bleeker comes across as very human and normal in his compositions.

Don’t Look Back, Who Are You Seeing and Step Right Up (Pour Yourself Some Wine) are the standouts for me. And while Real Estate songs seem to drift away after listening, these songs stick with me to the point that I will find myself singing them without notice.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

{ 0 comments }

Real Estate – Green Aisles [Music Video]

by Woody on January 3, 2012

We’re easing into the new year after a gluttonous couple of weeks. I ignored Real Estate’s sophomore effort, Days, when it first came out. I finally succumbed last week when I checked out their Take Away Show. Armed with some emusic credits, I downloaded it and took the dog for a long walk.

By now, I’m sure you’ve read a number of reviews so I’ll spare you a deep breakdown. I will say its fairly similar to their debut, but the playing is better. And while it isn’t going to step up and slap you to get noticed, it is a great album to take a long walk. Interested to see these guys live. Are they any good live? Leave a comment if you have an opinion.

Here’s a video for Green Aisles. It’s kind of like my walk, but I was walking and not driving. And I didn’t tumble down the side of the mountain at the end.

{ 1 comment }

Real Estate – Self Titled [Album Review]

by Woody on January 18, 2010

real estate

This year, like every other one for the past four or five, I sat down in mid December and began to compile a force-ranked list of my favorite of the many albums that I purchased over the preceding 12 months.‚  The ranking is influenced heavily by my mood and by the integrity of my memory. Given brain cell attrition that can be materially accelerated by holiday season drinking¦..well, you get the picture.‚  Some make the list that probably shouldn’t and are sampled only sporadically thereafter.

One album, however, that continues to resonate with me, and more profoundly with each listen, is the fantastic self-titled debut from Real Estate.‚  Not only did the album make my top ten for 2009, the “Beach Comber” track was my favorite song of the entire year and represents a microcosm of why I love this band.‚  Part of the lo-fi, psychedelic, SoCal pop movement that continues to take hold today, yet with material departures beginning with the recognition that band is not even from Southern California.‚  They actually hail from New Jersey and, although there is some sand-and-surf subject matter, you’re more likely to get songs that relate to real world and living in the suburbs.

First of all, it’s moody and melodic.‚  On certain tracks the band uses slight variations of continuous loops, which gets hypnotic, but then veers in tempo and careens off in a new direction mid-song.‚  “Beach Comber” is the highlight and sets the tone for the rest of the album.‚  It begins with a lightly submerged-sounding guitar strum that leads you to this poignant opener: “What you want is just outside your reach, keep on searching.” There’s a breeziness, even optimism, to the melody that sweeps over the listener, but there’s also traces of melancholy and longing, reinforced of course by those lyrics.

Later there’s “call the office and tell them you won’t be coming home””offers the hope of escape, but in a way that’s more comprehensive.‚  And finally, the gripping “Suburban Dogs” that exclaims: “Suburban dogs get afraid when it rains/suburban dogs bark at slow-moving trains/they run from your house, but return the same day/suburban dogs are in love with their chains”.‚  Wow, that’s a confluence of feelings ranging from nostalgia to disdain to fatalism and sure to give you equal doses of repulsion and longing whether you’re a suburbanite or not.

Other winning moments include “Green River” and “Suburban Beverage” and there are a few very good instrumental tracks as well.‚  I should also point out the band just released the EP Reality, which further perpetuates the sound, mood and content of their debut LP.‚  Despite all of the recent music of similar genre, this band stands above the class for me as a result of their command of mood, through the lyrics and the melody.

Real Estate – Fake Blues

{ 2 comments }