Real Estate's music is a disarmingly delicate thing, crafted out of tenderly shimmering guitars and blurry images of a past that's both rose-colored and sepia-toned. But the songs are far from showy: Paced evenly and sung in a near-whisper, they could only be made by a band standing stock-still. Last year's album Days is a tiny wonder, meeting at the middle between beachy '60s pop and bittersweet '90s college radio, but it was made for the studio rather than the stage.
True to form, Real Estate's five members stood in one place throughout their three-song concert in the NPR Music offices, opting instead to re-create their sound with airy precision. Visually, this isn't a striking performance, but Real Estate wears placidity well: It's a band born and bred to convey and celebrate laconic comfort. These guys may be a little young for such winsome nostalgia — given their age, "Municipality" sounds as if they long for a youth spent listening to early Death Cab for Cutie records — but damned if they don't make it work.
- "Green Aisles"
Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor and Videographer: Michael Kazif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Doriane Raiman/NPR