“Impatiently, as I wait for you” was the lyric probably stuck in the heads of many a fan at Republic’s Thursday night show. Brooklyn-based indie band, Real Estate, visited New Orleans again on tour to promote their new album, In Mind, which was released on March 17th. It is their fourth album to date, and the first album they’ve made since Matt Mondanile, one of the three founding members, left the group. They are on tour with harpist Mary Lattimore.
Real Estate was formed in Ridgewood, New Jersey by three friends Martin Courtney, Matt Mondanile, and Alex Bleeker after college. They went through a couple different drummers, added a keyboard/synth player to the mix, and released three albums that received great critical acclaim through websites like Pitchfork. After Atlas, guitarist Mondanile left the band to pursue his own musical project, Ducktails. Their new lead guitarist is Julian Lynch, and he recorded with them for In Mind. Unlike many bands that lose their luster after the first few releases, Real Estate seems to get better with every album they put out.
Mary Lattimore opened the night with some beautiful instrumental harp compositions. She utilized a loop station with which she shifted the speeds and even reversed the loops she played. It was impressive, but seemed rather more improvised than it should have been. Real Estate followed at about 10:15.
The Republic had filled substantially by the time Real Estate was ready to play. The band teased the fans by briefly taking the stage and sound-checking their own instruments, then waiting another 20 minutes to play. It was well worth the wait, though. Real Estate is definitely one of the more catchy and comfortable groups out there. Their style is clearly influenced by older psychedelic and surf rock bands like the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Surfaris. This influence is obvious in the amount of spring reverb and chorus twang they use in their guitar effects. Using these warm tones, they write romantic indie rock with melodies that get stuck in your head for days on end. It’s hard not to imagine oneself hanging ten or grabbing a cold one at the beach while blasting their psychedelic surf blues.
Real Estate’s first song of the night was the last song on their new album, “Saturday,” and the rest of the setlist was also heavy on new material. They played three songs from each of the two previous albums, but nothing from their debut record. The audience was overjoyed to hear the classics “Talking Backwards” from Atlas and “Younger Than Yesterday” from Days. Just about every member of the band addressed the crowd at some point in the show, and like most artists, they gave the impression of loving their time in New Orleans. Their final song was “Had To Hear” from Atlas before Lynch made a joke that he needed a glass of wine to continue. After a generous audience member obliged him with white wine, they encored with the hit “It’s Real” from Days. They followed that with a new track, “Two Arrows,” which has a very jam-worthy outro that they made sure to exploit in the city of live music. After the show, Martin stood behind the merch table and greeted eager fans.