Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the people behind the microphone are human beings too: The Main Thing is Real Estate’s first album since the ignominious departure of former guitarist Matt Monandile after a series of allegations made by his former partner. Neither he nor the remaining band members are the real victims by any definition, but the breach of trust was something singer Martin Courtney has admitted took time to process.
The Main Thing is in his own words, the weightiest proposition amongst their five albums to date, although songs like Paper Cup – with gossamer harmonies provided by Sylvan Echoes Amelia Meath – retain the dreamy, Ivy League atmospheres which have become so familiar over the last decade.
Elsewhere they dabble in textures further away from home, such as the gothic, haunting wake sounds of Gone and the instrumental closer Brother, whilst Also A But lengthens the pitch of their dappled psychedelia.
Whether this more reflective mood was totally intended remains to be seen, as The Main Thing waxes and wanes in people’s heads over the months to come. But as a peek into minds in recovery, it’s Real Estate’s most distinctive work yet.
You can read the full review here.