Real Estate Test New Material on Hometown Crowd

October 18th, 2013

Real Estate – The Bowery Ballroom – October 17, 2013

Somewhere between the two worlds of being awake and being asleep lies the sound that Real Estate have mastered over the past two albums. Smooth, dreamy and free-flowing, the sound has led countless music writers to compare them to or make mention of the ocean, beach, summer weather and being underwater.

Last night, Real Estate premiered a bunch of new material at their sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom among fans, friends and family (three of the band members hail from nearby Ridgewood, N.J.). It’s safe to say the new music is just as fantastic as the band’s past material, falling comfortably within the spectrum of “that Real Estate sound.” Whereas a massive sonic shift would equate to that awful feeling of leaving a warm bed on a cold morning, this new material (due for release early next year) feels like merely repositioning into a more comfortable resting position and smacking down on that beloved snooze button for a cherished few moments back into the world that’s not quite dream-filled sleep, not quite awakened consciousness. It’s a sound that leads crowds deep into the transient “Real Estate dance,” an eyes-closed gentle shuffle involving a slow shift of weight from one leg to the other as the wonderfully crafted guitar tones wash over you like ocean waves (see, even I had to mention the ocean).

Nonetheless, there have been a few changes in Real Estate’s signature style. Singer-guitarist Martin Courtney brought out the acoustic guitar for a good number of new songs. And in a welcome addition, for the first time a keyboardist joined them onstage to fill out those undertones their guitars gently touch upon on songs both new and old. The best moments fell toward the end of their songs: Real Estate know when they’ve hit the perfect groove, and it’s in these moments that you wish their fluid jams could last forever. Time’s an illusive beast when you’re half-conscious, someone find me the snooze button, because whoever wants to wake up? —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici |