Real Estate Announce ‘The Main Thing’ With The Breezy ‘Paper Cup,’ Featuring Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath

Real Estate is a few years removed from their latest album, 2017’s In Mind, so it’s about time for a new one. The good news is that one is coming soon: Today, the band has announced that The Main Thing, their fourth studio album, is set for release on February 28.

The news was also accompanied by a video for the lead single “Paper Cup,” which features Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath. The track will please fans of the band’s signature light indie-rock sound, and the video features a Chuck E. Cheese-like character dealing with getting older.

The band’s Martin Courtney says of the song and the album:

“‘Paper Cup’ is a song about getting older and realizing that this thing that I fell into doing over ten years ago — being a musician, writing songs, being a guy in a band — this may end up being my life’s work. Watching the people around me change and evolve, take on new challenges, and feeling sort of stuck in a rut, in a way. Feeling uncertain of the validity of being an artist in an age of climate change and general political and social unrest around the world.

It’s a song about questioning your chosen path in life and searching for meaning in what you do.

Those questions don’t really get resolved in this song, but ironically, the process of making this record — really diving deep and trying to make it the best thing we’ve ever made — reaffirmed in me, and I think in all of us in this band, why we are doing this.”

Alex Bleeker also says, “We discovered through the care and attention that we brought to this record that making music to resonate with other people is our catharsis. The ‘main thing’ is following your path of inspiration and hoping to inspire that in people around you.”

Watch the “Paper Cup” video above, and below, find the The Main Thing art and tracklist, as well as Real Estate’s upcoming tour dates.


1. “Friday”
2. “Paper Cup” Feat. Sylvan Esso
3. “Gone”
4. “You”
5. “November”
6. “Falling Down”
7. “Also A But”
8. “The Main Thing”
9. “Shallow Sun”
10. “Sting”
11. “Silent World”
12. “Procession”
13. “Brother”

04/09 — El Club @ Detroit, MI *
04/10 — Thalia Hall @ Chicago, IL *
04/11 — First Avenue @ Minneapolis, MN *
04/13 — Slowdown @ Omaha, NE *
04/14 — The Truman @ Kansas City, MO *
04/15 — The Ready Room @ St. Louis, MO *
04/16 — The Vogue @ Indianapolis, IN *
04/17 — Brooklyn Bowl Nashville @ Nashville, TN *
04/18 — Variety Playhouse @ Atlanta, GA *
04/20 — Cat’s Cradle @ Chapel Hill, NC *
04/21 — 9:30 Club @ Washington, DC *
04/22 — Union Transfer @ Philadelphia, PA *
04/23 — Royale @ Boston, MA *
05/07 — Fox Theater @ Oakland, CA ^
05/08 — The Fonda Theater @ Los Angeles, CA ^
05/09 — Belly Up Tavern @ San Diego, CA ^
05/10 — The Crescent Ballroom @ Phoenix, AZ ^
05/12 — The Granada Theater @ Dallas, TX ^
05/13 — Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater @ Austin, TX ^
05/14 — White Oak Music Hall @ Houston, TX ^
05/18 — Gothic Theatre @ Denver, CO #
05/19 — Urban Lounge @ Salt Lake City, UT #
05/21 — Neptune Theatre @ Seattle, WA #
05/22 — Revolution Hall @ Portland, OR #

* with Palm
^ with Meg Baird
# with Itasca

The Main Thing is out 02/28 via Domino. Pre-order it here.