Real Estate – “Paper Cup” (Feat. Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath)

The 2017 album In Mind delivered on Real Estate’s usual promise of extremely pretty daydream guitar-pop, but it felt a bit like the band had bumped up against a wall in terms of creative progression. Even subbing in guitarist Julian Lynch for the disgraced Matt Mondanile didn’t do much to shake up their sound beyond increasing the lushness by a few degrees. They were still great at what they did, but they seemed to be running in place — perhaps on a treadmill in a suburban basement somewhere, given Martin Courtney’s longtime topical fixations.

So it’s exciting to hear them truly pushing out into new directions on the follow-up. That album is called The Main Thing, and it’s coming at the end of February. It finds the band incorporating the influence of European electronic pop acts in the lounge-psych realm, like Stereolab and Air, as well as leaning harder into their jam-band inclinations. Also new: They’ve collaborated with Amelia Meath from the synth-pop duo Sylvan Esso on disco-inflected lead single “Paper Cup,” which arrives today with a music video tracking a giant animatronic squirrel in the sunset of its career. “Was I ever that young, or was I always old?” Courtney sings with his signature wistful grace.

Watch below.

01 “Friday”
02 “Paper Cup”
03 “Gone”
04 “You”
05 “November”
06 “Falling Down”
07 “Also A But”
08 “The Main Thing”
09 “Shallow Sun”
10 “Sting”
11 “Silent World”
12 “Procession”
13 “Brother”

The Main Thing is out 2/28 on Domino. Pre-order it in physical or digital formats.

CREDIT: Jake Michaels