Although undeniably a rock band, Real Estate offers a clean and smooth sound that many just can’t get enough of. Their songs are beachy, nostalgic, and make you want to jump in your car and go for a drive. They capture this sound, or rather feeling, through clean guitar, soft and clear drums, and mellow vocals.
This is all featured in full effect in their song Talking Backwards from their 2014 album Atlas. The song begins with a guitar hook that draws you in and is then accompanied by the band’s distinctive bass, drums, and vocals. The song starts off softly, but the sound intensifies in the middle as frontman Martin Courtney sings “When the night was over, and the field was lit up bright, and I want to tell you, nothing came out right”. We’ve composed a list of artists to listen to for those of you that just can’t get enough of Real Estate.
Brooklyn-based indie rock band Beach Fossils share a similar musical style with Real Estate. Although Beach Fossils have traded Real Estate’s clean sound with one that is somewhat more echoey and muted, you still get the similar sound of soft and mellow vocals over a beachy guitar hook. Although they generally follow a song structure which feels more melancholy than that of Real Estate, Beach Fossils are definitely a band to check out if you love the mellow, beachy sound.
Tennis is a Denver-based band led by husband and wife Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. Tennis has a nostalgic sound similar to that of Real Estate or The Beach Boys. Tennis’s music is warm, upbeat, and hook you in with clean guitar riffs and Moore’s enchanting vocals. A perfect example of their style is their song Origins off of their 2013 album Young and Old. The track has a slightly grainy filter added to Moore’s vocals which add to their vintage sound. The track begins somewhat soft, but intensifies in the chorus in which Moore sings “Is it so hard to forgive the way that we’ve been made to live? How much is required to set things right? Have you confused your power with mine?” If you’re drawn Real Estate’s clean, rock sound - Tennis might be the next band for you.
With a sound somewhat more hard hitting than Real Estate, Ducktails are a Bedroom Pop band formed by Real Estate’s guitarist Matt Mondiale. Though you may not have heard the name Ducktails, you may have heard their hit song Killin the Vibe off of their self-titled 2011 debut album. The track is fun, upbeat, and in essence - the perfect road trip song. In addition to upbeat tracks, Ducktails also have softer sounds like Hamilton Road - a song which follows a similar sensibility to Wakin on a Pretty Day by Kurt Vile.
For a more powerful yet similarly beachy sound, you may want to check out Florida-based band Surfer Blood. Surfer Blood’s music is classic, hard-hitting indie rock. Featuring fast guitar riffs, loud drums, and assertive vocals. Songs like Floating Vibes off of their 2010 album Astro Coast and Demon Days off of their 2013 album Pythons deliver Surfer Blood’s trademark fast-paced and upbeat sound - which seems almost a more amplified version of Real Estate.
Composed of duo Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, Best Coast gives a classic indie rock sound paired with Cosentino’s dreamy vocals. The band’s sound is in full effect in their debut album Crazy for You from 2010. Crazy for You is made up of 13 songs with a sunny and beachy sound and Cosentino’s classic vocals. Many of the lyrics are about Cosentino’s longing, singing about wanting someone to be her boyfriend, saying goodbye to romantic partners, and feeling crazy when she’s not with the guy she has a crush on. For 'hooky' love songs with a classic beach-rock sound, Best Coast may be the band for you.