While promoted and praised by everyone from Pitchfork to the New York Times, New Jersey band Real Estate have always appeared to me to be on the receiving end of quite a lot of negative criticism. Maybe because I’m friends with a number of people who are omnivorous listeners, I’ve seen many mentions on social media about the band being part of an increasing output of beige, unmemorable indie rock. However, I found the band’s 2011 album Days to be, well, maybe not adventurous or exciting but certainly not unmemorable. Fusing the best elements of soft rock, the sunnier Byrds-jangle side of the Flamin’ Groovies, and fellow Jerseyites the Feelies, Real Estate flaunt fluid guitar playing and instrumental camaraderie with a rare, superlative melodic instinct. They’re not pushing music in new directions, but they’re pretty good at playing directionless music. Real Estate have a new album coming out on March 4 called Atlas (Domino). Their first single, “Talking Backwards,” sounds like every other song on their last album, which means its pleasantness would be infuriating if the band weren’t so damn good at being pleasant. Check it out below the jump.