After the strong debut EP The Undercover Dream Lovers delivered back in 2016, it is difficult to grasp the fact that the comeback of their sophomore EP would sound just as satisfactory. Behind the scenes of these works, is the Brooklyn based songwriter Matt Koenig. In addition, the singer collaborated with artist Alex Laliberte this time around, which evidently enhances the overall effect of the EP as a result. In Real Time maintains the same musical confidence we hear in While it’s in Style, yet perhaps has a more curated, sophisticated tone which unfolds perfectly throughout the EP.
In short, In Real Time is exactly what fans would expect from Koenig, this of course being the case if the expected was an exceptional EP which develops their music into something not only widely tasteful but phenomenally creative also. As soon as we enter the first track, Koenig almost plays on a baroque style melody which is transformed into a funk infused psychedelia, something which has previously been used for example, by Unknown Mortal Orchestra in ‘Jello and Juggernauts’. The result is a simple yet nostalgic sequence which encapsulates an unusual groove merely through the key, and so everything on top just heightens this unique style even further.
In terms of lyrics, there is nothing groundbreaking or wildly obscure here. As many could guess, this is an EP which seems to encompass the theme of desire and attachment to a love interest. However, it is this uncomplicated essence which reflects the smooth and pastoral ambience of the album, so the two work flawlessly together as they tie together the themes tremendously.
The rest of the EP follows up beautifully in tone and in spirit. As expected, we are given electronic psychedelia which fluctuates between different modes from one song to the next. All the same, there are certain consistencies throughout every track which are sound defining for the EP as a whole. Predominant bass, reverberating synths and octave vocals determine the EP’s signature flair for a chilled atmosphere and funky attitude. The final track ‘Let Go’ almost reacts as a response to the second track ‘I Don’t Know Your Name’ as it uses the same key – however, the mood shifts from a complex, slow-moving composition to an upbeat yet relaxed vibe; the perfect positive ending to a diverse album.
The key word for The Undercover Dream Lovers is consistency. They do this brilliantly. On the one hand, we were merely given a continuation of previous works, yet Koenig has shown his ability to effortlessly adapt yet again with In Real Time and as a result has left fans confident in his proficiency as a perseverant musician.