April 16th, 2012, 12:49 am · · posted by GUEST
Real Estate is one of those young bands at Coachella with a Next Big Thing tag attached to it, at least in indie rock circles, where its 2011 album “Days”finished well up many year-end lists. So the New Jersey band pulled a good-sized crowd to the Gobi tent on Sunday afternoon to see what all the buzz is about.
What they found was a band that specializes in dreamy pop rock with a wistful bent to the lyrics. I first wanted to describe their music as sunny, but the overtones of sadness in the words and sounds made me think of it more as end-of-the-summer music than as fun in the sun fare. Songs such as “Green Aisles” played Sunday made that almost literal, with lead singer Martin Courtney singing of “mountains of maple leaves standing side by side” as he pledges the object of his desire that “if you just sit tight I’ll be there soon.”
Like many new bands, there’s one song that everyone knows and waits to hear. For Real Estate, that tune is “It’s Real,” with its terrifically catchy chorus of oh-ohs tailor-made for singalongs like that loudly joined in here on Sunday. After the song ended, plenty of people started to leave, having heard what they wanted. Pity. There’s more worthy material here than that one song.
A bit earlier in the Mojave tent, Wild Beasts, label mates of Real Estate on Domino Records, faced a slightly less dedicated audience. They’re one of those bands that’s much better known in their native land — England, in this case — than in the United States, so onlookers seemed more curious than passionate in their interest. Wild Beasts nonetheless probably earned a few converts with their blend of propulsive drum rhythms, swirling washes of electric guitar and softly sung indie rock vocals.
Click here to see all photos from day 3.
By Peter Larsen for The Orange County Register.