New Jersey indie rockers Real Estate kind of defy category. Some of their songs sound like surf rock while others resemble neo-psychedelia.
Either way, the band put out what will sure to be one of this year’s best records – “Atlas” – earlier this month. The five-piece has a special affinity for Chicago since it recorded “Atlas” at Wilco’s Northwest Side loft.
Thursday at the Metro in Chicago, Real Estate showcased its off-the-charts musicianship. Lead singer Martin Courtney is a near virtuoso on electric guitar, but it didn’t come off as flashy or over-the-top.
Quite the opposite, his playing was humble and unpretentious. Clean guitar lines weaved in and out in an angelic display of chillout precision. It’s mind-boggling how these songs fit together. Elegant, intricate and grandiose. Their calmness is therapeutic.