Real Estate’s Martin Courtney has set sail with his second single from his forthcoming solo album with a wavey indie anthem titled ‘Sailboat’. For the track, he never veers very far off course from what we’re used to with his band, but he does throw in a bit of Pavement-like distortion.
The soft-voiced singer said of the song: “For some reason, I always assumed I did not possess a ‘license to rock’. This song is my attempt at some unlicensed rocking. I was extremely fortunate to have Matt Barrick, who drummed on the greatest rock song of the 2000s, ‘The Rat’, on this one. Couldn’t have done it any other way.”
While The Walkmen’s scintillating sticksmith might have rattled like an adrenalised squirrel in a nut factory on ‘The Rat’, it is a mark of Courtney’s ethereal, Elliott Smith-like tones that he believes ‘Sailboat’ to be approaching the choppy seas of “unlicensed rock”. Really, it’s about as rock ‘n’ roll as some unauthorised bombing at Cliff Richard’s pool party, but that all adds to the charm.
Nevertheless, with distortion and a couple of quickened drum fills in the fore, the song travels at a brisker pace than we are usually used to from Courtney. This mix of silken stylings with a carefree aesthetic offers up a nostalgic feel for the song with the moody atmosphere of adolescence swirling throughout the song.
As Courtney added himself: “Lyrically this song is kind of about keeping things in perspective and attempting to stay positive in the face of all of the bullshit. An increasingly difficult task. And I just thought ‘Sailboat’ was a funny name.”
Magic Sign will be Courtney’s second solo album following on from Many Moons back in 2015. He recorded and produced the album himself alongside Rob Schnapf at Mant Stounds in Los Angeles.
The album is due for release on June 24th via Domino. You can check out the Bráulio Amado-directed video for ‘Sailboat’ below.