Real Life Buildings are fixated on climate: the way weather affects your mood, how shifts in the seasons can prove portentous or promising. The New York-based project, which is led by Matthew Van Asselt, put out its debut release, It Snowed, back in 2014, and it was filled with tracks like “Thaw” and “A Relative Place,” songs that equated melting snow or blustery winds with seismic emotional fluctuations. That songwriting tic continues on Significant Weather, Real Life Building’s excellent new album.
Their lineup has grown to include Vagabon’s Lætitia Tamko and Crying’s Elaiza Santos, among others, and the new additions contribute to the band’s fuller and more vibrant sound. Lead single “Cold” starts off despondent and insular before launching into a busy mess of horns and nervous energy. Van Asselt attempts to find a middle ground between complacency and happiness: “For the last year, I’ve felt like if I could just find the right place/ If I could just get the right stuff and have the right routine/ I wouldn’t have to worry about ever feeling down,” he sings breathlessly, full well knowing that there’s no easy road to feeling OK with yourself. Released on Lauren Records.