Daniel by Real Estate album review by Sam Eckhout for Northern Transmissions. The band's forthcoming LP drops on February 23rd Via Domino



Real Estate

In the comforting embrace of Real Estate’s sixth studio album is a familiarity that feels like a warm hug on a chilly evening.

As the indie-rock band continues to push their musical journey forward, they find solace in the familiar. Daniel is undeniably, indisputably, without a doubt, not a single crumb of uncertainty, served straight up without any of the fixings, plainly and in all honesty – a Real Estate album. From the outset, it’s evident that Daniel continues Real Estate’s steadfast commitment to their signature sound. There’s a palpable sense of comfort in the familiar melodies and gentle guitar licks that dance playfully throughout the album. With Martin Courtney’s distinct vocals leading the way, the band embarks on a musical trek that feels more like a leisurely stroll through familiar terrain than an expedition into uncharted waters

Shades of the Travelling Wilbury’s efficient songwriting come to the surface, as Daniel rolls out a consistent lineup of mid-tempo songs that exude an effortless charm. Standout tracks like “Haunted House” and “Water Underground” epitomize the album’s gentle demeanor, inviting listeners into a world where introspection is rewarded and not rushing is encouraged. Daniel won’t necessarily lull you to sleep with its recycled ideas and concepts from previous Real Estate records, but it will struggle to keep you engaged.

Yet, for all its soothing qualities, Daniel remains firmly rooted in its pop sensibilities. In what can be called a slight departure from their previous effort, the five-piece embraces a more polished, laid-back, comfortable-in-their-own skin sound, compared to the anxious and hazy The Real Thing recorded during the COVID era. The result is an album that feels subdued, unintrusive, and yet present – but the moments that are special and make you take notice are much too few and far between.

However, it’s in these moments that Daniel truly shines. While the album lacks an immediate impact, there’s a quiet resilience to its songwriting, with patient maturity guiding each track. Yet, for all its merits, Daniel struggles to define itself not only in its musical genre but in the band’s own catalog. There is an innate and unspoken feeling you get across the album that the band has consciously decided to be content with who they are and record Daniel almost as if they are a cover band writing a Real Estate record.

In many ways, the album’s title is a microcosm of the band’s direction. Much like the meaning behind the name Daniel (there really isn’t any) – musically, Daniel deliberately avoids any deep meaning or conceptual grandeur in favor of simplicity. It’s Real Estate being Real Estate—nothing more and certainly nothing less. And while there’s beauty in its understated nature, one can’t help but question how much longer this attraction will draw a crowd.

Daniel will be quietly acknowledged and appreciated by existing fans, a fleeting moment of serenity in an increasingly chaotic world. Yet, for those seeking innovation or experimentation, the album will leave much to be desired. It lacks the vision or drive to captivate a larger audience.

Ultimately, Daniel stands as a monument, a reminder of Real Estate’s unwavering, detrimental (and admirable), determined pledge to their specific sound. While this can be frustrating on the one hand, Daniel is a gentle reminder that sometimes, the most profound beauty lies in simply being.

Pre-order Daniel by Real Estate HERE


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