There’s a moment in the video for Real Estate’s new single “Talking Backwards” that’s too perfectly choreographed in such an off-the-cuff clip. For a scant two seconds, the camera pans heavenward to capture a vibrant blue sky with clouds dotting it. It’s a serene happening, seen through a grimy van windshield.
That metaphor, no matter how accidental can be appended to the band itself. On previous outings, tranquility hid underneath soft blankets of fuzz. With “Talking Backwards”, the first song off of the forthcoming Atlas, the sheets have been stripped off as the band faces sunlight pouring in from the window. A “rude” descriptor like “jangly” no longer carries water. Martin Courtney and Matt Mondanile’s guitars quietly chime as the drums pitter-patter and the bass hums. With this newfound clarity, Courtney’s syrup-drenched lines stop sounding as sweet. The title reflects his inability to the say the right thing at the right time to a girlfriend who is “too many miles away.” An idyllic walk home is ruined by Courtney’s stammering. There’s one line he can manage to get out right, “the only thing that really matters is the one thing I can’t seem to do.”
Atlas, the band’s third LP, is arriving stateside March 4 via Domino Records.