The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Gelidez – DUCKTAILS: Jersey Devil (New Image Limited, 2017)

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El que comenzó como el proyecto paralelo de Matt Mondanile se ha convertido, con el tiempo, en el grupo principal de la que fuera la mitad creativa y sonora de Real Estate. Aunque parece que el Jangle y el sonido cálido de los Estate se lo han apropiado definitivamente para sí.
Jersey Devil es un disco frío, demasiado adulto, en el que se aleja parece que conscientemente de las influencias mencionadas, para adentrarse en sonidos aseados que más tienen que ver con Steely Dan que con el Jangle-Pop (las capas de sintetizadores y baterías programadas son altamente empalagosas). Un paso -supongo- que lo alejará del radar de muchos de los seguidores de Real Estate (como quien escribe), que seguimos disfrutando de las canciones ahora firmadas en su mayor parte por Martin Courtney.

Jersey Devil is Matt Mondanile‘s sixth LP as Ducktails but notably his first since leaving his post as founding lead guitarist of Real Estate following touring for their third album, Atlas. Along with frontmanMartin Courtney, much of that band’s sunshiny, prism-like guitar sound certainly can be attributed toMondanile given that, even with its more fragmented, lo-fi disposition, Ducktails has it, too. At the same time that it moves the moniker out from under the “side project” label, Jersey Devil marks a return of sorts for Mondanile — both physically and, to a lesser degree, musically. He began writing and recording the album in his Los Angeles studio space before relocating to his hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he finished it in his mother’s basement. The resulting tracks take on a slightly more ramshackle demeanor than his prior two albums (The Flower Lane and St. Catherine), while, for the most part, maintaining their full-band posture. To that end, collaborators here include, among others, co-producer John Anderson (Girls, Nick Waterhouse), drummer John da Costa, andParasol bass player Chi Yoon Hae, who flew in from South Korea for sessions. Representative results include “In the Hallway,” with its familiar guitar eddies of glimmering complex chords and conversational-type vocals, and the synth poppier “Keeper of the Garden,” which still settles into contemplative, soft-focus verses. While not his most consistent crop of songs, light brushes withSteely Dan-like jazz-rock and bolder synths add flavor to a still distinctive sound that’s likely to be welcomed by fans” (All Music)

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28 diciembre, 2017 Posted by | Ducktails | Deja un comentario

Ducktails: St. Catherine (Domino, 2015)

DUCKTAILS, St. Catherine

Mucho más que el proyecto paralelo de Real Estate, Ducktails se confirmaron el año pasado como una de las bandas alternativas que mejor expresión le dan al nuevo Dreamgaze. Cortes como Headbanging in the mirror, Disney afternoon, Into the sky, St. Catherine, The laughing woman… les confirman como una de las bandas con más expectativas de los últimos tiempos. Matt Mondanile continúa dando pasos firmes en busca de la belleza.

Ducktails Summer Tour:

Thu-Jun-23 Brooklyn, NY Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park Bandshell
Fri-Jul-08 Seattle, WA Barboza
Sat-Jul-09 Vancouver, BC Cobalt
Sun-Jul-10 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Tue-Jul-12 Oakland, CA Starline Social
Wed-Jul-13 Felton, CA Don Quixote’s
Thu-Jul-14 San Francisco, CA Nightlife @ CAS
Fri-Jul-15 Los Angeles, CA Highland Park Ebell
Sat-Jul-16 San Diego, CA The Hideout
Sun-Jul-17 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room

“Having shaken the once-fashionable lo-fi aesthetic that marked the project’s early work, Ducktails found its surest footing with 2013’s more varied The Flower Lane. But if that album found him expanding the Ducktails sound, fifth album St. Catherine finds Mondanile cautiously shuffling his way back into his comfort zone, churning out the kind of pretty, melancholic daydreamers he cut his teeth on. It’s hard to fault Mondanile for going back to basics, especially considering that he’s still one of the most unassuming but instantly recognizable guitar players in his respective orbit, and both his knack for cozy melodies and skills as an arranger are intact. But there’s a feeling of trepidation that hangs over the record as it favors familiarity over all else.
Fortunately, Rob Schnapf, who co-produced Elliot Smith’s Either/Orand XO, helped Mondanile get St. Catherine across the finish line. It’s an appealingly clean sounding piece of work with serious attention to detail, from the simple but perfectly EQ’d drums to brightly-lit acoustic guitars to those swooning string arrangements. The sound is there, but the songs on St. Catherine don’t have the substance to match. Having Julia Holter guest on “Church” is a good look, as her voice lends a needed extra dimension to Mondanile’s wiggy compositions, but even her contribution just kind of floats on by. This is Ducktails’ most discriminating and tasteful album, but the project is at its best when there’s a certain amount of exploration even within its narrow parameters” (Pitchfork)

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10 mayo, 2016 Posted by | Ducktails | Deja un comentario

Ducktails: The flower lane (Domino, 2013)

Ivy House

El comienzo de este cuarto álbum de Ducktails: Ivy covered  house es realmente memorable. Referencias inevitables a Mojave 3, Jangle-Pop de lujo.
Su continuación es el corte que da título al álbum: The flower lane, un tema en el que la banda da un pequeño giro hacia el sonido que nos vamos a encontrar en el resto del álbum: Pop ambiental, floreado, cálido e inofensivo. Juegos de guitarras y vocales que destilan algo de lo que la banda originaria de Matt Mondaline (Real Estate) es capaz de ofrecer. La influencia se torna hacia gentes como Aztec Camera, Prefab Spraut o incluso de sonidos más limpios aún (aparecen saxos, sintes analógicos), y hablo de bandas como por ejemplo 10 CC (Under cover, Planet phrom, Assistant director, Sedan magic, Letter or intent -con colaboración de Madelline FollinCults-)…
Si he de ser completamente sincero, prefiero su vertiente más Jangle con Real Estate. Otra cosa es que Ducktails sea una banda que, evidentemente, nada tenga que ver con aquella. Como Ducktails, Matt Mondanile ha editado ya su cuarto trabajo. Estamos ante una entidad propia que ha alcanzado ya un grado de madurez que no poseía en sus inicios cuando registró sus primeros trabajos como un proyecto Bedroom-Pop.
Aquí las colaboraciones, aparte de la mencionada de Madelline Follin, corren a cargo de, por ejemplo, Big Troubles, quien ha contribuido con su equipo para la grabación del álbum; Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) o Joel Ford (Ford + Lopatin).


DucktailsOriginally the solo outlet of Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile, Ducktails has, over time, become less of a bedroom project and more a collaborative venture. Mondanile’s drafted in a whole band, Big Troubles, to back him on this fourth album.
And The Flower Lane sounds like an album that its contributors had a good time making. Its pace is predominantly gentle, its music full, sunny and generally unabrasive.
Opener Ivy Covered House brings a softly nostalgic feel and a warm jangle, also found in International Date Line and Academy Avenue. Guitars are slightly more animated in the occasional middle eight or solo (Timothy Shy, Assistant Director), but never put their heads so far over the parapet as to dominate.
The sense of harking back is emphasised in the smooth 80s echoes of the production and generous use of slick synths and piano; International Date Line’s mellow blend of instrumentation and suggestion of a 60s-style sitar, and the glossy sax break on Under Cover add to the retrospective mood. That song’s couplet – “Imagine all the people / Walkin’ out the door” – could perhaps be a sly backward reference to Lennon’s best-known moment of the 70s.
Elsewhere, lyrics mainly keep to the slightly goofy, love-struck likes of The Flower Lane’s “So now she’s gone again / And I feel a mess” or Assistant Director’s “I can’t think of anything now / Looking into your eyes”.
Lovely cover version Planet Phrom (originally by Peter Gutteridge, of The Clean and The Chills) again highlights Mondanile’s thrall to romance, while Under Cover gets seductive, in an subtle, slightly-cheesy way befitting the band.
Mondanile’s singing is underplayed and undemonstrative throughout. Its qualities fit, yet are thrown into relief by the contribution of Cults’ Madeline Follin, her lush vocal elevating Sedan Magic to a highlight as she wistfully pleads, “Won’t you stay?”
Right to its end, in the calm flurry of acoustic guitar notes that form the coda to closing track Academy Avenue, this album sees Mondanile opting for subtlety over showmanship. In choosing to do so he has created a work of insidious beauty: creeping, pervasive and better for it” (

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20 junio, 2013 Posted by | Ducktails | Deja un comentario


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