[sic] Magazine

Ducktails – Ducktails

Ducktails are retro-fashionable quiffs from the 50s, a reference to Scrooge McDuck’s adventures with his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, and also the chosen pseudonym of Matt Mondanile’s lo-fi psych-pop solo record.

As guitarist with hyped-to-the-eyeballs newcomers Real Estate, this New Jersey boy knows a thing or two about the scene and in Ducktails has skilfully avoided it, preferring instead to release an ambling sonic landscape more in line with Animal Collective downtime than with loft party reverence.

His self-titled debut proper follows a collection released under the name of Backyard, a cathartic expulsion of earlier experiments under the Ducktails moniker, and track one here also takes its name. What follows are nine largely instrumental synth loops that meander in summery ambience, fading in and out like the chin-stroking soundtrack to some art-house rom-com.

Mondanile was probably taught that saying nothing at all is preferable to saying something unpleasant, and it’s a maxim that has stood him in good stead allowing his rolling indie to take centre stage. His only concession is found on ‘Dancing With The One You Love’ where his treated vocal arrives on the wind from mid-distance just as most of the Woodsist label roster employ. Elsewhere, hand-drummed rhythms mix with light washes of steel-string guitar, fuzzy synths bubble and murmur.

Ultimately, the worst that can be said about this album is that it doesn’t go anywhere, but luckily the space it inhabits it pleasant enough to want to stay.