Aaron Worley | Arts & Entertainment Editor
Indie rock band Real Estate has undergone a variety of changes since their debut album, “Real Estate.” In the beginning, their sound was more focused on a beachy and calm tone that carried some of their most popular guitar patterns they continued to implement on later projects. It was glorious, and set the mood for “Days,” their sophomore effort. It had much more of a subliminal psychedelic tone than “Real Estate,” and opened up a gateway for repeating sounds that featured more production overlays than previously implemented. Their following album, “Atlas,” was monumental in that it carried such raw emotion that they had never shown before. The album was sad, deep, and explored personal relationships sung by Martin Courtney, the lead vocalist of the band. This new content was interesting to hear and became one of their more critically lauded projects. The latest album by them, “In Mind,” exhibits a lesser amount of emotion, favoring a balance between their iconic sound that made them popular and more upbeat songs. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it does feel redundant at times and hearing about long nights does not compare to Atlas’s broad range of emotion and feelings suggested.
The opening track, “Darling” paints a picture of Courtney in either a grassy or suburban house, waiting for his love to come back. With a soft and hopeful tenor he sings, “The night surrenders softly/The moon retreats from sight/The darkness that surrounds me/The sun cuts like a knife to shine.” Though the lyrical content is not varied and is often limited, it can be sensed that the narrator is wishing for something to actually happen with his relationships. He feels that the days have been turning into nights quicker than he thought, and is growing tired of letting life pass without his love interest.
The fifth track, “Two Arrows,” stands as one of the highlights of the project, explores a vivid description of a dark town, and the journey of walking through it with someone. The guitar work is fantastic and gives the mood an actual sound. It is reminiscent of “All The Same,” which was the final track on “Days.” The repetitiveness of the guitar added a ‘loop’ pattern that most users of psychedelics tend to experience, where a visual element or sound repeats itself, hence the name. The ending of “Two Arrows” starts to become much more raucous than how it started, before it almost abruptly cuts off to lead into “White Light.” This could be taken as a symbolization of the narrator’s decaying state of mind as he plunges deeper into darkness.
On “Diamond Eyes,” there is a country influence, as was the case for “How Might I Live” on Atlas.” While this may be a departure from their iconic sound and may confuse some, it is a showcase of the band’s experimental qualities and their desire to broaden their sphere of influence. Courtney sings, “I will not go quietly” in the dialect of a southern gentleman, and draws empathy for the situation he is dealing with. “Saturday,” which is the best showcase for the band’s guitar work, is fantastically driven by an opening piano, as well as the later guitar tempos that bring the album to a satisfying close.
While it may not attract a good amount of fans who have not heard of the band before, “In Mind” stays true to what original fans hoped for in a new release, though to an amount that offers less catchiness and replay ability than their previous efforts.