Real Estate: Atlas review – The Truman Show, New Jersey-style


It's as if New Jersey's Real Estate are trapped in a perpetual Truman Show-style summer holiday – riding around the same suburban streets on the same vintage choppers, feeling the same mellow angst for ever and ever. Not that this is a bad thing: the excellent follow–up to 2011's Days is caught between a blissed-out Byrdsy summer of love and Deerhunter's gawky awkwardness, while shimmering slacker guitars heighten a sense of nostalgia. Atlas is elegantly produced, but racked with uncertainty in its lyrics: Martin Courtney talks of "crippling anxiety" on Crime with the laconic delivery of a dosed-up LA housewife, while Past Lives – "I can not come back to this neighbourhood without feeling my old age" – has a glum ghostliness that's all the more haunting alongside such an idyllic soundtrack. The sun might be shining, the grass might be green, but there's little joy to be felt on Atlas.


Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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