Advance Review - Real Numbers - Brighter Then (January 22, 2021)
Real Numbers, a DIY collective out of Minneapolis, is set to release their latest EP Brighter Then in 2021, with two singles, “Darling” and title track “Brighter Then” already available to stream. In the four years since the bands last album release, the previous quartet comprised of Eli Hansen (vocals/guitar), John Eggerman (bass), James Blackfield (drums), and Ian Nygaard (lead guitar), expanded to include keyboardist Sophie Durbin. The band members come together off other successful local projects -- including Howler, Cozy, and France Camp -- and their latest EP shows that they can still bring new life to their dreamy 80’s Brit-pop sound without sacrificing the sanctity of their DIY roots.
The EP’s title track was released as a single in early November 2020, and showed a softening of the bands overall sound, followed closely by the release of the second single “Darling” which reaffirmed the bands transition. The band also released a cutesy music video for the title track, recorded in stop-motion style. The EP includes two new songs from the band, “Old Cross” and “In The End,” bringing to the table a more atmospheric sound for the group. Finishing out the EP is a reprise of “Brighter Then” that somehow makes the song sound more wholesome, leaning more heavily on the the soft keyboard and with the charming addition of a tambourine and other percussion instruments. I absolutely adore the lyrics of this tune; “Was it brighter then?/ Doesn't mean we cant be friends/ These things happen/ but it’s okay.” Truly the entire EP would be right at home in a coming-of-age film score, creating a sense of soft lighting and a dreamy haze, alongside Hansen’s more introspective lyrics. The songs themselves are simple and romantic, with catchy guitar riffs that aren't overly complex and a flat percussion sound that makes them right at home in the DIY scene.
With such a promising EP, I’ll be following closely to see where Real Numbers takes their sound next. Brighter Then will be released through Slumberland Records January 22, 2021.
Rating - 4/5