. . .
In the first half of the last decade, the New Jersey indie-rock band Real Estate made a pair of jangly-guitar albums that definitely stand in the pantheon. While not as majestic as, say, the intertwinings of Marty Wilson-Piper & Peter Koppes of the Church or Glenn Mercer and Bill Million of The Feelies, the dual guitars of Martin Courtney and Matt Mondanile definitely invoked some of the same feeling, minus the psychedelic grandeur of the former or the rhythmic insistence of the latter.
In fact, that would be the one ding I would have on Days — or Real Estate in general — that it was perhaps, calmer, than I would like. Real Estate often made better “lie in a field music” than “zip down the highway” music.
But even so,it was highly enjoyable, even more so that their best songs felt a new combination of old things. Like for example, “It’s Real,” which leapt out of Days anchored by swirling guitar jangle from Mondanile over double-time snare by Jackson Pollis which then alternate with a straightforward beat. Over this, Martin Courtney sings about a potential love affair before deciding that, yup, it’s real.
During this chorus, Mondanile keeps up the jangle, but Pollis switches up to a double backbeat on his snare, giving whole song a feeling of disorientation, which is doubled at the end, as Mondaniles guitar gets swirly, and someone adds a synth for coloration.
Which, of course, is part of what makes it contemporary: outside of The Church, no self-respecting jangly guitar band of my youth would have added a synth part like that. But it works, and helps to make “It’s Real” the standout from Days.
“It’s Real” official video
“It’s Real” live on KEXP, 2011
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