Indie Dispatches: Real Estate’s ‘Days’ evokes the best of bygone indie era

There seem to be two words coming out of a lot of people’s lips in the latter part of 2011, usually with some sort of glowing acclaim attached, with those words being, Real Estate. We are of course talking about the New Jersey indie rock band, not the housing market (whose fortunes are nowhere near as buoyant in comparison). And justifiably so, as the band’s second album, Days, their first for Domino who beat out some stiff competition from other notable indies such as Sub Pop to sign them, is definitely one of the year’s best. The record is a true jangle-fest, steeped in the 90′s (particularly the Creation Records sound of the era, and bands such as Primal Scream and Felt), and receiving deserving praise both from fans (old and new) and a large swathe of the media, where it looks it will rate very highly in many of the top 10 lists for the year.

Speaking of Felt, there have been great reviews coming in from the UK regards the debut screening of Lawrence of Belgravia – a new documentary on the band’s enigmatic and eccentric frontman, and the first release on Heavenly Films (an offshoot of the record label). It looks like the US debut for the film could be in March next year, during the SXSW Film Festival. And on the topic of Creation Records – can it be true that My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless celebrates the 20th anniversary of its release this month? Amazingly, even two decades on, the album still stands as a unique and vital piece of music, and staggeringly influential. No word still on the mythical and long-anticipated follow up full length release from the band.

One 90′s group that did send the internet abuzz with news of a recent re-emergence, is Mazzy Star. The duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback released a new single “Common Burn”, news of which appeared seemingly out of the blue, with an album rumored early next year. And yet another influential 90′s act that resurfaced recently, with information about a new release, are orchestral pop pioneers Cardinal. The band – Eric Matthews and Richard Davies – made one highly rated self-titled album, and served as the inspiration for everyone from The Polyphonic Spree to Vetiver and beyond, before imploding. Cardinal just announced the impending release of a new full-length, Hymns, in January, a mere a mere eighteen (!!) years after their storied debut, through UK-based Fire Records.

- Cool Hand Luke