Ducktails is the solo project of Matthew Mondanile, a founding member of Ridgewood, New Jersey-based indie beach bums Real Estate. While not too dissimilar in tone from the sun-kissed pop of his main squeeze, Mondanile's work as Ducktails presents a more fragmented, mercurial version of the Garden State of mind. More synthetic, too, than Real Estate, Ducktails is all burbling analog synths, bedroom processing, and sunburnt soundscapes. The end effect acts as a sort of bleary aural Polaroid taken at a backyard party Real Estate just finished playing. Mondanile's output under the Ducktails moniker has been prolific and perhaps a tad illusory; he has released numerous ultra-rare cassettes and CD-Rs, a pair of 7"s, and a pair of "official" LPs (a self-titled album on Not Not Fun and Landscapes on Olde English Spelling Bee, both in 2009).
In addition to playing in several other projects, including Predator Vision and the Parasails, Mondanile released a split with Dracula Lewis in 2010, before releasing Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics in 2011. The album took a more bare-bones approach, and marked a notable change in style for Ducktails. By the time 2013's The Flower Lane arrived on Domino Recordings, Mondanile had moved even further away from his bedroom beginnings, recording more traditional mellow pop with a full band. A five-song EP, Wish Hotel, arrived later that year, retaining the same sophisticated style as the album that preceded it, as did 2015's full-length St. Catherine. With producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck) bringing a touch of warmth and clarity to Mondanile's sincere psychedelic tunes, the album also featured guest appearances by fellow experimental indie artists James Ferraro and Julia Holter. ~ Nate Knaebel