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Real Estate: The Sound Of New Jersey Sunshine

There are hipper places for bands to live than New Jersey, but Real Estate isn't shy about advertising its origins: The band's buzz-infused self-titled debut celebrates the Jersey Shore unabashedly, and even pays loving tribute to sprawling suburbs. Three of Real Estate's four members met in middle school, which might have something to do with the way their music practically bleeds nostalgia.

"Beach Comber" opens the album with irresistibly jangly guitar riffs before fading agreeably into hazy melodies and washed-out vocals. As it conjures up images of the Jersey Shore, the song exudes a carefree vibe while maintaining its structure and direction. Behind Martin Courtney's only occasionally decipherable vocals lies the story of an individual's fruitless search for something of value beneath the sandy surface of the beach. Then, just when the song begins to devolve into a free-form surf-rock jam, Etienne Pierre Duguay comes in on drums, giving "Beach Comber" momentum while tying the song together neatly. The result is enough to make snowbound listeners pine for the New Jersey sun.

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Rachel Kowal