Following his work on 2011’s Days, engineer Kevin McMahon returns as producer, and, for the first time ever, Real Estate have brought in outside instrumentalists and special guests like Sylvan Esso, whose vocalist Amelia Meath features on first single, “Paper Cup.” Across the album’s 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirizing lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.
The Main Thing arrives with a fresh commitment the members of Real Estate - Alex Bleeker (bass), Martin Courtney (vocals, guitar), Matthew Kallman (keyboards), Julian Lynch (guitar, vocals), and Jackson Pollis (drums and drum programming) - have made to each other, 10 years and 5 full-length LPs into a career spent crafting unmistakable and influential palettes of sound. The band underwent a collaborative evolution for this album, which saw each member experimenting in new roles, and alongside Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, Matt Barrick of The Walkmen, Aaron Johnston of Brazilian Girls and a string quartet all play on the record.
The album title is, in part, a reference to the Roxy Music song; primary songwriter Martin Courtney explains, “Even before we decided where to record or who to record it with, I knew it needed to sound that good”, but as Alex Bleeker adds, “We discovered through the care and attention that we brought to this record that making music to resonate with other people is our catharsis. The ‘main thing’ is following your path of inspiration and hoping to inspire that in people around you”.
For the album artwork, the band enlisted Bjorn Copeland of Black Dice, whose visual work focuses on recycling by-products of consumer excess, to mimic the layout of Days.
The Main Thing is available to pre-order on deluxe double LP (tip-on gatefold jacket with Bjorn Copeland’s collage piece mounted on the front cover), LP and CD.
Paper Cup (feat. Sylvan Esso)
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The Main Thing
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