Ducktails is Matt Mondanile’s reliably great solo project, and when he’s not playing guitar for New Jersey languid psych-rockers Real Estate, he finds the time to produce his own woozy psych-pop. From the initial song we’ve heard off his new album St. Catherine, “Headbanging In The Mirror,” this will be his most accessible record yet. Today he’s shared “Surreal Exposure,” which ventures all the way into dream pop territory and plants a flag. Rob Schnapf, who co-produced Elliot Smith’s seminal albums XO and Either/Or, worked with Mondanile to produce the record, and these new tracks sound like he pushed the polished sound of The Flower Lane even farther. Especially for a guy who used to specialize in home recordings and experimental structures, these punchy new songs sound like the coalescing of Mondanile’s vision. On “Surreal Exposure,” there’s that dreamy, symphonic opening bit that gets buried under his clean, clear acoustic guitar line, only to surface again and again, like a ship bobbing on waves. Listen.
St. Catherine is out 7/24 via Domino. Pre-order it here.