When The Coronas released this song and video, “Real Feel,” in 2017, as part of their fifth album, “Trust the Wire,” it went mostly unnoticed in the music press.
The Irish Times called it a “solid, if somewhat safe” album, and noted the band’s lack of acclaim but popularity in their home base in Dublin. Other reviews were similarly lukewarm or miss the point completely. This review, for instance, for some reason compares The Coronas to David Bowie, and talks about the album in terms of “indie alienation, disquiet, melancholy… .”
Actually, “Real Feel” was the most optimistic song to come along in a long time.
“Real Feel” captured the openness of that moment and that early summer’s vibe that year perfectly. (The band had also captured how spring 2017 felt with this song, “We Couldn’t Fake It.”)
May 2017. I was tired of seeing the same types of people and a lack of vibrance and diversity — everywhere, it seemed.
By the time this song came out, I was ready for “real feel people.” And I can’t get over how optimistic that time still felt. I could listen to this song on my front porch and my mind goes to Franklin Street, and I could think of all the activity that was there. It felt open, like maybe we were on the cusp and things were going to finally start happening.
Instead, that summer spiraled down into destructive events like the Las Vegas shooting, and that sense of openness dissolved.
“Real Feel” also should have gotten more attention because it was clearly along the same artistic lines as other bands that had already come before and made an impact in the culture. To date, The Coronas still have not been noticed by the major music publications. (And that’s yet another big problem that’s contributed to the mess we’re in, which is that the media is not working the way it used to.)
“Real Feel” has similar type of artistry and optimism as Feist, but more overtly so. The video brings to mind Feist’s “1 2 3 4,” which most people probably associate nowadays with Apple. That video was about a “let’s dance together/let’s work together” sense of can-do that pervaded that era of iPod Nanos and Apple Air computers.
Feist’s video was perfectly choreographed. The possibilities and joy that can come from working together, was what that video and that era were about.
The Coronas’ video is also choreographed, but more scrappy. It’s more clever and they deliver similar themes as Feist, but they are also more rooted and more about real-world relating. The band throughout their career has drawn from the Dublin music scene, and they are currently getting ready to release a sixth album, “True Love Waits.”
It’s also just a fun video to watch. When I watch it, I still get put back into exactly that moment when there was so much more abundance in the world.