Real Numbers are a five piece hailing from Minneapolis. Their new EP “Brighter Then” follows their 2016 album “Wordless Wonder” and sees the band embracing 80s indie pop.
We’re admittedly new to the band so this serves as our introduction.
There’s a hazy quality that runs throughout the five tracks here.
Opener and title track “Brighter Then” shimmers like the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” if it were played by The Pastels. The twinkly guitars are fussy yet hypnotic, the vocal melodies simple and affecting. It’s a beautifully crafted indie pop gem. “Darling” is more upbeat. While the chiming guitars remain, it’s more focussed, straightforward and super catchy. It retains the dreamlike state through the copious layers of 80s reverb. The instrumental “Old Cross” provides a breather we didn’t really need but is pleasant all the same. “In The End” sees Real Numbers going full Galaxie 500. Singer Eli Hansens drawn out notes are Dean Wareham-esque. There’s a greater sense of space as they gently build glistening layers of guitar, keys and percussion.
They close the EP with a reprise of “Brighter Then”. The keys take greater prominence here, loosely aping the original guitar part. The delicate, sparse guitar chords and percussion completely transform the song.
“Brighter Then” certainly showcases Real Numbers’ pure pop songwriting talents. It leaves us intrigued to both investigate their earlier work and looking forward to hearing where they go from here.
“Brighter Then” is out now via Meritorio Records.
You may enjoy this if you like: The Pastels, Galaxie 500, Young Marble Giants