★★★★ (out of 5 stars)
The New Jersey lo-fi rockers started out by winning us over with cheery tunes set aside for vacation destinations and friendly barbecues, with a proclivity for all things West Coast. The band’s third album, Atlas, finds the soul of this band in familiar territory but with a heavier heart and more self-reflection than ever before. The surprisingly upbeat-sounding “Crime” sums up the sentiment nicely when Alex Bleeker’s distant, yet intimate voice rings out, “I don’t wanna die/ Lonely and uptight/ Stay with me.” Atlas is all about finding peace in an ever-changing world. Even with reality rolling in over them from every angle, Real Estate’s singular accomplishment is discovering beauty in simplicity.