Chillwave might have reached its end, but that doesn’t mean bands such as Real Estate will.
The constant labelling of Real Estate as a member of the Chillwave movement, is almost slanderous to most who have actually listened to the bands work. Beach Pop yes. Chillwave no. Real Estate glaze over their innocently driven style with smooth, charming guitars and gentle reverb effects, that all follow the same pace throughout, but each managing to retain some individuality.
Synth fusion is as PC as imaginable with Real Estate, with April’s song leading the pursuit of popping electronic plugins that lead the string formations of Atlas to a more prominent future. Talking Backwards and Crime attain a more constant, flowing pace that could get new listeners up dancing, with gaily bouncing rhythms that simmer in the Summer shade of July. As loose and free as Real Estate appear, their lyrical content portrays a band that are in a state of no control and complete control of their lives. How Might I Live feels as lost and confused as a student deciding whether their medical degree is right for them to making a living when really they want to be a writer. It feels trapped, secluded and weirdly estranged from the rest of Atlas, making it the albums most noticeable track.
Approaching Real Estate, hoping that they’ll have moved away from their dreamy Beach Pop styles is ludicrous. Why change your style to suit picky critics. Real Estate’s style has progressed from their first LP back in 2009. 2011’s Days found more driven beats with the band finding some energy from the Summer sun. On Atlas, the band have withdrawn from this alternative state and returned to being chilled out Indie Rockers that produce sublime Beach Pop which oozes harmoniously from ear to ear. It’s essentially impossible to listen to Atlas without feeling that you’re gliding around space staring down at Earth, slowly rotating. It might sound like a bad acid trip, but really, it’s an enjoyably, relaxing album in full, not rising to anything above a harmless jive and not dropping below a gentle sway.