Real Estate – Daniel

The jangly New Jerseyans provide another nugget of blissful escapism

Album Review by Lewis Wade | 19 Feb 2024
  • Real Estate – Daniel
Album title: Daniel
Artist: Real Estate
Label: Domino
Release date: 23 Feb

Real Estate have always sounded breezy and self-assured, but as they release their sixth album they sound peaceful and locked-in almost to a fault. They've brought in a new producer, Daniel Tashian (found by Martin Courtney through his daughter's love of Kacey Musgraves), who brings a few new ideas to the tried and tested formula, but really this is exactly the album you would expect from Real Estate at this stage.

The first four songs are absolute vintage RE, with sunny melodies and intricate, polished guitar lines. The lyrics are whimsical ('Flowers inside my head / Everywhere, all the time'), meandering (Water Underground; Somebody New), with just a hint of darkness under the cheery veneer ('The sun is shining through the world / This haunted world is killing me'). The latter motif returns on Market Street, a song that dips its toes into psych-rock with appropriately paranoid lyrics.

The back half loses steam a little, but even mediocre RE is well-written and easy to enjoy. Victoria is an Alex Bleeker-led song with a bit of pedal steel twang, Airdrop throws in some synth and Freeze Brain has bongos for some reason. But these little affectations rarely distract from the uniformly gorgeous arrangements.

The only real issue is with the release schedule – this record has late spring or summer written all over it. Put Daniel on ice for a few months and save it to soundtrack those lazy summer days to come.

Listen to: Water Underground, Flowers