I once heard Real Estate described as "a band about nothing" (the Seinfeld of bands) and it was maybe the best description of them I've heard. There's not really a unified theme among their songs (maybe a kind of overlying beach thing (maaaybe)) but really they are about nothing. You are supposed to "write what you know" and that's exactly what Real Estate does.
The above pic also perfectly captures what they are all about. It's the middle of summer. It's hot. Really hot. You're in some pretty unremarkable venue (apparently in Texas) (although they are from New Jersey). You're bored. And then this band comes on. They're pretty lazy, lofty, groove-able. Very soothing. You forget it's hot. You stop being bored.
That's what Real Estate is for me. They're one of my favorite bands, and, they are kind of like those toys where you move some of the pieces around and it becomes something new.
Which brings us to the next band on the agenda (and another favorite of mine) Ducktails. I already posted about him but he should be mentioned in the post about all things Real Estate.
See this post for more in depth info (along with Jeans Wilder)
Last of the Real Estate bands is Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. Alex Bleeker is the bassist and he writes the music in this one. It's way more folky based, although pretty freak-folky. Think of like Woods mixed with Bon Iver with a pinch of some more traditional folk. He's got an album out, and it's pretty good. There's less of a connection between The Freaks and Real Estate than between Ducktails and Real Estate, but one common link is the killer guitar work. There's more distortion (Woods style) here, but it's great. He's way less known than Ducktails, and it's kinda a shame. Definitely worth checking out.