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Pure X & Real Estate Bring A Blast Of Summertime To Terminal West

Summer arrived in Atlanta early last week as Pure X and Real Estate rolled into town, each bringing their own brand of hazy, chilled-out guitar rock to a sold out Terminal West. Both bands are promoting newly released records: Angel for Pure X and Atlas for Real Estate, and both played very well-received sets for the packed-out crowd.

Pure X’s Soundcloud:

Pure X’s promotional material for Angel stresses that the record was recorded in a 100-year-old dance hall in Texas over five days, and perhaps that old-school setting served as a bit of motivation for Angel’s relaxed vibe. Jangle-y guitar lines (more on that later, this was a Real Estate show after all), airy vocals and a general lo-fi, 70s rock feel permeate the recording. Live Pure X’s sound is less pastoral and a bit rougher around the edges, and in a very appealing way that makes sense.

The Austin, TX band is basically a perfect primer for Real Estate, as the blissed-out atmosphere their psyche-folk creates pairs perfectly with the latter’s feel-good bursts of guitar based sunshine. Vocalist Nate Grace exudes a certain fragility onstage, one that’s hard to put your finger on but engaging all the same. By the time he announced the band’s last song, I found myself wishing Pure X had more time left. Impressive set from a group that I’d never previously caught live.

Now about that aforementioned “Jangle Rock”: New Jersey’s Real Estate have made a name for themselves in the indie rock world by creating an almost instantly identifiable brand of music that pairs perfectly with an afternoon forgetting your cares with friends by the pool (“Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?”), most probably in the suburbs somewhere. Frontman Martin Courtney and lead guitarist Matt Mondanile’s guitar licks feel like just that: licks of bright light reflecting off of the pool you’re currently lounging on a float in and the breezy rhythm section of Alex Bleeker and Jackson Pollis couldn’t compliment their sound any better.

Real Estate – “Suburban Beverage”:

With Atlas, Real Estate certainly didn’t abandon their Johnny Marr/The Feelies/Peter Buck brand of Jangle Rock, they just let a little darkness creep in. The pool party is over, there are beer bottles everywhere, the dog ate the last of the cheeseburgers, your girlfriend is pissed for reasons you’ll never fully understand and Dave is passed out in the bathroom. Again. Perhaps shaped by the fact Courtney is expecting his first child soon, his lyrics this time around have taken a much more reflective and introspective turn, “I’m staring at the hands on the clock/ I’m still waiting for them to stop” he marvels on “Navigator”.

Live however, Real Estate’s twin guitars still absolutely soar around the club, light as air, with Matt Kallman adding even more sunshine via keys and a third guitar. The crowd’s reaction to songs varied from light toe-tapping, head-bobbing and tapping of the thigh (aka the White Indie Dude In His 30s Dance), to people going full on bonkers. Songs like “Beachcomber” and “Talking Backwards” had folks noodling in place rather aggressively, and a few even bounding up and down with unchecked enthusiasm, a rare sight at most “Indie” shows.

Real Estate – “Talking Backwards” (note the most popular comment: “Jangle Crack”):

Courtney marveled from the stage more than once at how “into it” and engaged the crowd was getting and did so with what seemed like genuine feeling. Having worked in various branches of the music business for years and in that time literally seeing thousands of shows, I’ve heard this a lot. But I’ve rarely heard it sound as heartfelt as it did on this last night in March, when the suburbs rocked the city (for once).

For a full list of Real Estate’s tour dates (as well as a cool video of Real Estate’s 2012 Coachella set), scroll down below:

Real Estate tour dates:

Thu 04/10/14 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall
Fri 04/11/14 Holland, MI Hope College
Appearing at “Dot To Dot” (Manchester)
Fri 05/23/14 Manchester, United Kingdom Various Venues
Appearing at “Dot To Dot” (Bristol)
Sat 05/24/14 Bristol, United Kingdom Various Venues
Appearing at “Dot To Dot” (Nottingham)
Sun 05/25/14 Nottingham, United Kingdom Various Venues
Appearing at “Primavera Sound”
Thu 05/29/14 Barcelona, Spain Parc del Forum
Appearing at “Pitchfork Music Festival”
Sun 07/20/14 Chicago, IL Union Park
Fri 08/01/14 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Sat 08/02/14 Sonoma, CA Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Sun 08/03/14 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
Appearing at “Woodsist Fest”
Wed 08/06/14 Big Sur, CA Henry Miller Library
Sat 09/27/14 Frederick, MD Flying Dog Brewery
Thu 10/02/14 New York, NY Terminal 5

Real Estate’s 2012 Coachella set:

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