Real Estate left a mark on the music press with 2014’s Atlas, and after a minor line-up change, have returned with their fourth release In Mind.
The album continues in the same vein as its predecessors, with bright, interweaving guitar lines, and soft melodic vocal deliveries to create a warm summery vibe. Lead single Darling (the amusing music video features a disruptive horse during a band performance), contains several elements over a complex drum pattern and soft keyboards, creating perfectly melancholic pop.
The dreamy nostalgia is also prevalent in Stained Glass, as well as album highlight After The Moon, a gentle lullaby with its free-flowing chorus and early-Coldplay guitar lines. Holding Pattern and Time also feature the Johnny Buckland-esque echoes to continue the summer seascape atmosphere.
There are also subtle psychedelic blemishes, such as the distorted sounds in Serve The Song, the fuzzy solo in Two Arrows, and phased guitars in many tracks.
Diamond Eyes is the only disappointment. The chord progression is generic, while the vocals feel flat, and the awkward guitar chords quickly become irritable. Same Sun meanwhile has a bizarre funk keyboard, Stevie Wonder-like outro, which jars with the warm reverb wash vocals and clean-picked guitars.
While In Mind may feel a little one-dimensional in terms of instrumentation and dynamics, it shows Real Estate at their most consistent and decisive. What’s more, it has some of their best songs to date.
Edited by Andrew McNicol