On their third full-length, Real Estate prove that their powerful mood music is no fluke. (The casually graceful Crime and the cinematically sombre How Might I Live are both intoxicating.)
The New Jersey indie rockers are in complete control of their aesthetic: their hazy vibe never becomes inaccessible, and singer Martin Courtney sings so affably and softly, you can't help feeling invited into his benevolent headspace. The album plods occasionally, but then the band's mastery of mood shifts kicks in and a dreamy landscape and simple, jangly verse turn into a big, beautiful chorus. Those tempo changes happen between tracks as well: spirited bass carries Past Lives down a meandering, emotionally wrenching road, while the next track, Talking Backwards, is peppier than anything they've done before.
Top track: Talking Backwards