I used to slip on some Wild Nothing when I needed that easy breezy, go-to background vibe for summer reading or grilling or staring out the window during storms. Real Estate has been slowly invading that premier location in the lineup, but I wonder if that’s a good thing. Atlas feels weird at times.
Good weird? Bad weird?
All of the clean guitar strums, bright vocals are here, but the dial’s been twisted back a bit in the energy department. There’s a melancholy current that drags through most tracks here, that wistful kind of feeling that sticks in your gut like a heavy lasagna. It’s not a heavy or oppressive feeling (or even uncomfortable), but it’s there. And depending on where you are in the day, you’ll feel it more or less.
There’s not a lot of movement here on the ten tracks offered (most of them caught up in quiet neighborhood streets), but that’s because the pace is calculatedly slow, like taking a walk down a childhood street and stopping every now and then to show off a place of interest; an elementary school, the billboard where the cops almost arrested you, the field where that little shit from around the corner threw the baseball bat at the back of your head when you were eleven…
Musically, there is an addictive element in the simple strums and shoe-polish shiny vocals, something that makes the hooks all the sharper and more listenable. A solid album devoid of duds.
1.”Had to Hear”
2. “Past Lives”
3. “Talking Backwards”
4. “April’s Song”
5. “The Bend”
8. “How Might I Live”
Listen to that wobbly guitar melody on April’s Song and get back to me. I’m still pumping it on repeat.