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Best band buds: Woods and Real Estate live


by Irene Lo

Last Friday, Woods and Real Estate came to The Imperial in Vancouver with nothing but friendly things to say about each other’s music. These best band buds – so much so we can look forward to a project between Real Estate’s Martin Courtney, and Jarvis Taveniere and Aaron Neveu of Woods – were casual and understated, but 100 percent feel-good in their guitar-heavy sets.

Jeremy Earl, the lead singer and guitarist of Woods, released early Real Estate singles back in 2009 through his Woodsist label. The mutual camaraderie that developed between the two bands was history. There is rarely a missed opportunity in interviews where Courtney doesn’t express his respect for the neo-psychedelic band from Brooklyn.

With their indie folk moves, Woods carried the evening’s mood of peaceful, comfortable melodies. With Light And With Love is Woods’ proper studio album, made out of eight recordings created from spontaneous sessions of creativity. The latest LP saw them dial up the polish on songwriting, and on-stage, Woods was dynamic and loud, showing their various sides. Sometimes acoustic and sometimes pop.

A few years ago when guitar bands were the trend sound, Real Estate was a band Pitchfork had a crush on for having a timeless quality in their interlocking guitar parts that were clean and full of quiet magic. Atlas, last year’s record, did not change the formula Real Estate was known for, but refined it. Live, Real Estate was unadorned and lush. “Crime” and “Easy” were memorable jangle songs.

Self-described as “the girl next door music”, Real Estate has always felt less like music to soundtrack the summer to and more like songs to get lost in the suburbs to. Respectable, and less concerned with what’s hip than what’s actually good, Real Estate brought a sense of content, a feeling similar to the intimacy home concerts have to offer as an alternative space for sound.

To a packed house made up of fans listening with appreciation, Woods and Real Estate were laidback and serene acts.

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