Founded in 2005 by Sendrowitz and the multi-instrumentalist/producer Philip Jimenez (Wheatus), Beat Radio’s textured sound that splits the difference between lo-fi indie-pop, folk jangle, and emo vulnerability. You don’t juggle songwriting with raising five kids while recording demos in a laundry room if you don’t believe every word and on Real Love, Beat Radio’s sixth album — and first since 2006 with founding member Jimenez — it’s clear that Sendrowitz does. 

Now rounded out by Jimenez’s wife Kathryn Froggatt on backing vox/bass/tambourine, Real Love ripples with catharsis and hard-fought empathy. Choruses reach out for understanding through the pain and disconnect. Put simply, it is Beat Radio’s best and most honest album yet. Throughout their five album discography, he has excelled at writing open-hearted indie-rock songs that double as life rafts, carrying him through the tumultuous waters of adulthood, grief, and familial trauma — and the songs on Real Love are no different, representing a new beginning. 

For one thing, it marks a reunion between Sendrowitz and Jimenez, more than a decade after the latter’s departure in 2006. The record injects a new urgency into Sendrowitz’s songwriting, woven from several years of heartbreak and rigorous self-examination. Brimming with ornate indie-rock gems, Real Love is flush with lush sonic flourishes — rustling banjos, climactic saxophone, elegiac violins and layered harmonies throughout make the album one of the year’s most vital albums — without a doubt, Real Love is Beat Radio’s most fully realized record yet.