As an active surf-rock enthusiast, I was overjoyed upon hearing of the latest release by Real Estate, titled Atlas. Coming off of their 2011 release, Days, Real Estate has enjoyed a fair amount of critical acclaim, even being listed as the best album of that year by our staff members. With their memorable guitar strums and gentle, carefree vocals Real Estate has earned their rightful spot in anyone’s “Summer Jamz” playlist. On Atlas however, the band shifts its mood towards something slightly gloomier. The playful haze of Days has cleared, giving rise to a sound that is more deliberate yet introspective. Atlas manages to accomplish the daunting task that all bands face of maintaining their collective identity while simultaneously avoiding creative stagnation. Keep in mind, this is still the same Real Estate that had us reaching in blind nostalgia back in 2008. Their drifting melodies have only been refined to produce their most cohesive and enjoyable album yet. The opening track for Atlas begins with a melancholy guitar riff, eventually building into the warm beachside sounds that lay the groundwork for the entire piece. The band has always been able to push all the buttons for making catchy tunes and feel-good vibes, and their latest album is no exception. Stream below and enjoy.