Real Numbers – “Brighter Then”
Fittingly named Brighter Then, the new EP from Minneapolis’ Real Numbers polishes the band’s sound into the rosy reflection of Sarah records’ best, bringing to mind East River Pipe, The Field Mice, and quite honestly, Brighter. The band expands to a five piece on the new release and keys from Sophie Durbin really flesh out the band’s jangled ennui, giving songs a less sinewy feel than before. Along with the atmospherics, the band’s Eli Hansen, gives the record an emotional heft that blends well with a soft-focus production, smearing their songs in a heartsick glow. The EP doesn’t linger long, at just five songs, but while it sticks around Real Numbers make their presence felt. The hooks are more subtle than barbed, but over time they work their way into your brain just the same. I’ve been a fan of the band’s evolution over the past few years, with “Frank Infatuation” winding up a perennial favorite around here. The new batch proves they’ve still got plenty more surprises in store.