SOTD – Had to Hear by Real Estate

If there’s one thing the long-term blog followers have realized by now, it’s that my college radio memories will never stop a-flowin’. Believe it or not, the show’s humble beginnings influence my musical stylings and presentation methods just as much as the show’s more reputable ends. Flashback to the second semester of my sophomore year of college, mere weeks after the birth of my radio show. In the show’s infantile state, I could count the number of listeners on one hand during my 4pm to 6pm time slot. I was essentially playing songs for myself at times, but that didn’t matter to me. The plan was simply to play the songs I loved, bring to light the new releases I couldn’t get enough of, and have as much fun as possible along the way whether people actually listened or not.

In those pressure-less days, I’ll forever have a clear snapshot embedded in my brain of the day I showcased Real Estate’s new album Atlas to the world. I came into the studio and caught a ray of sunlight shining through the studio windows, illuminating the room with a glowing warmth that would be tough to find anywhere else that time of year. As the sun was setting and a playlist of Real Estate’s new album was being featured for a grand total of 3 people listening through the online stream, I sat in the studio in a surprised state of complete serenity. After a year and a half of not knowing what kind of activities I really wanted to do while in college, I had finally find my space. Through Real Estate’s illusory rifts and hushed voice along with a naturally lit studio, I felt a sense of pure freedom and tranquility that I will never forget.

Atlas was without a doubt one of my favorite albums of 2014, so I expected a lot from Real Estate’s follow-up 2017 album In Mind. Unfortunately the album was a subjective let down, sharpening the edges of it’s predecessor until the final product was nearly unrecognizable in relation to the original. For a band that pride’s themselves on simple guitar rifts and dreamy melodies, Real Estate got a bit too complacent in their simplicity. Aside from their half-decent and half-baked single “Darling”, the rest of the album is just background noise on life’s slowly ascending elevator, making listeners wait patiently for whatever’s next after those elevator doors open.

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