Hanging within the balance of sun rays and empty PBR cans, lies Real Estate sunken under a tree but without melancholy displays. They are a triumphant flag for musical engagement and excellence that transpires past the minimalistic cover art for their 2017 release, In Mind. As the patient stylings start to reach between the blue and black line works, In Mind becomes a realization through the fourth studio record.
The five-man band holds Martian Courtney at the vocal and guitar works, adding in Alex Bleeker on the bass and backing vocals. Then Jackson Pollis works on the percussive sets as the foundation to Matt Kallman on keys, and Julian Lynch on lead guitar. The simplicity speaks volumes as Real Estate has this underlying freedom to their sound. Opening with “Darling” where the synths lead the strings into this open landscape of possibility following the first verse that begins, “…Which hang upon our front porch, wait for the warm sun to return,” Real Estate immediately resembles a bright, but still dreamy Sunday morning.
Each passing track moves about not as a locomotive, but instead as a sluggish crawl that fits the overarching style and performance. Every piece of work on In Mind resembles this manageable illustration of warmth. Nothing overbearing, and nothing that relies entirely on one piece of the puzzle, but as a conglomerative coalition. Floating with this lightweight, aerodynamic flutter of verse-chord structure, “After The Moon” is delicate but acts as In Mind’s attention-grabbing slow song. It is melodic but allows this acoustic guitar and brush-tipped percussion to live and breathe with space.
Most of In Mind relies on Real Estate’s approachability as a band, resembling something more familiar to a Wes Anderson film. Images of perfect symmetry, coming-of-age, and a tasteful cameo of color that acts as if it was a living character to the story. Every step that Real Estate takes is a digestible piece that balances the fate of relaxation and cruise control where tracks are movement-inducing even at a somber tone. When the curtain falls on Real Estate, they take In Mind in their hands, shielding it from the world until it is fully ready to fly.