Real Estate are back, with renewed perspective.
On Monday, the band released the title track from forthcoming album The Main Thing in anticipation of the album’s release this Friday, Feb. 28.
The Main Thing will be the indie-rock quintet’s fifth full-length studio album, following 2017’s In Mind. That album was the group’s first new music following the departure of cofounder and lead guitarist Matt Mondanile for allegations of mistreatment against women, which later became public, and the reconfigured Real Estate’s launch of a signature wine with Echo Echo Wine Company.
In January 2020, Real Estate announced their return and The Main Thing, sharing lead single “Paper Cup” and an accompanying music video.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist and band cofounder Martin Courtney describes “The Main Thing”—the song—as “an inspirational anthem for anyone who’s ever been in an existential crisis,” explaining that the process of creating the album itself prompted and resolved his own.
“I was asking myself a lot of uncomfortable questions throughout the process of making this album. Wondering if being an artist is irresponsible or selfish, particularly with the world in the state that it’s in, particularly as a parent of young kids,” Courtney continues. “This was the last song I wrote for this album, and I think it kind of distills where I found myself at the end of what turned out to be a long and extremely rewarding process: psyched on the power of music, for real! When life gets tough, when the stresses start piling up, when you start second guessing every decision you’ve made, what do you do? You double down on the thing that makes you happy, the thing that feeds your soul.”
That realization is reflected in the track’s lyrics: “Despite the crushing weight / of all that’s on our plate / despite the true significance of / everything at stake / I will stay true / the main, main thing / it’s all I can do.”
Real Estate are setting off on an international tour this spring, joined by Palm, Meg Baird and Itasca.
Listen to “The Main Thing,” return to a 2009 Real Estate performance from Paste’s archives and check out the band’s tour dates below.
Real Estate Tour Dates:
09 – Detroit, Mich. @ El Club*
10 – Chicago, Ill. @ Thalia Hall*
11 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue*
13 – Omaha, Neb. @ Slowdown*
14 – Kansas City, Mo. @ The Truman*
15 – St. Louis, Mo. @ The Ready Room*
16 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ The Vogue*
17 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Brooklyn Bowl Nashville*
18 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Variety Playhouse*
20 – Chapel Hill, N.C. @ Cat’s Cradle*
21 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club*
22 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer*
23 – Boston, Mass. @ Royale*
07 – Oakland, Calif. @ Fox Theater†
08 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Fonda Theater†
09 – San Diego, Calif. @ Belly Up Tavern†
10 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ The Crescent Ballroom†
12 – Dallas, Texas @ The Granada Theater†
13 – Austin, Texas @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater†
14 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall†
18 – Denver, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre#
19 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Urban Lounge#
21 – Seattle, Wash. @ Neptune Theatre#
22 – Portland, Ore. @ Revolution Hal#
11 – Leeds, U.K. @ Brudenell Social Club
12 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, U.K. @
13 – Dublin, Ireland @ Vicar Street
14 – Glasgow, U.K. @ Queen Margaret Union
16 – Brussels, Belgium @ Orangerie at Botanique
17 – Koln, Germany @ Luxor
18 – Paris, France @ Le Trabendo
20 – London, U.K. @ Roundhouse
21 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Tivolivredenburg Pandora Hall
22 – Berlin, Germany @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
24 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset
29 – New York, N.Y. @ SummerStage (Central Park Garden State Party) ^
(* with Palm)
(† with Meg Baird)
(# with Itasca)
(^ with Sharon Van Etten & Grace Ives)