Indie rock vanguards Real Estate are back with the release of Half a Human. The EP features seven songs, including an alternate version of “Half a Human” minus about two minutes of instrumental synths. The songs were first written for their 2020 album The Main Thing, but did not make the initial cut. The songs have been retooled and packaged into a familiar but dreamy indie jam-rock EP. Half a Human does not provide any tracks as memorable as “Beach Comber,” “Its Real” or “Talking Backwards” but does represent an important evolution in the musical future for Real Estate as they become more comfortable as an indie jam band.
The EP begins with the symphonic “Desire Path,” an instrumental track carefully crafted that gently comes in and fades away. This opening thematically fits the EP as the track “Half a Human” also addresses the passage of time. Throughout the remainder of the tracks, vocalist and guitarist Martin Courtney sticks to what has worked in the past. His laidback delivery is a staple of the Real Estate sound, be the track is a radio-ready hit or an accompanying several-minute jam.
The longest song on the EP is “In the Garden,” which comes in at 6:27 seconds, securing its spot as the band’s third-longest recorded song to date. “In the Garden” features a psychedelic but harmless jam that persists for half the song. We can expect Real Estate’s jams to get longer and longer after a 2019 tweet where the band boasted on Twitter that “we invented ‘indie band the should become a jam band.’ That’s our genre.”
The Half a Human EP is interesting but does not have any earworms like Real Estate’s recent collaboration with Sylvan Esso on “Paper Cup.” The band does not do enough to justify calling the EP ambitious but it will satisfy any fan who is hungry for more music from the indie rock legends.