Martin Courtney

Last night I caught Martin Courtney (of Real Estate) performing his first solo concert in California! Opening bands included Golden Daze and Matt Kivel.

The bill opened with Golden Daze–a dreamy indie-pop band who shared the likes of Mac Demarco and Slowdive, and were fans of distortion, reverb, guitar licks, and tambourine. The intimate crowd at the Echo swayed their Monday night away.

Next, Matt Kivel (formerly of Gap Dream) took the stage and took us on an intimate journey as he shared folk inspired melodies with rock breakdowns. In all honesty, I found it difficult to place him in a genre—but my friend identified his sound as having a very present Sonic Youth influence.

Martin Courtney then took the stage, beginning the performance with the first song on his debut solo album, “Awake.” His dry sense of humor and perfectionist attitude came through in the performance, as he was subtly, but noticeable irritated at himself when a note didn’t quote come through to his liking. They played all of the songs on the album, Many Moons, which was produced by Jarvis Taveniere, who also plays bass with the band. The live act was really spot on, and rarely distinctive to the recording. Many Moons is much what you’d expect from the leader of Real Estate—still jangly, lo-fi surf rock, but a little more delicate, that inspires a feel-good calmness. The the cherry atop the performance would have to be the covers that that they shared at the completing of their performance of all ten track featured in Many Moons. Courtney jokingly shared something along the lines of, “well, that’s it! We only know ten songs,” and exited the stage, which inspired the audience to cheer “one more song!” The band came back out and performed some songs with Matt Kivel himself, appropriately selecting Harvest Moon and the Killing Moon. His perseverance through the encore was refreshing to see!

Courtney got up close and personal with his fans directly moving to the merch table right after the show, where he took photos and signed both my friend and my records. It was definitely a Monday MLK Jr. Day to remember!

Check out this video of Martin Courtney performing “Vestiges” January 18, 2016 at the Echo in Los Angeles: