Ducktails – ‘St. Catherine’

Ducktails - 'St. Catherine'

Score

Pretty but perfunctory tunes make up Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile's fifth Ducktails effort

Over the course of four albums with his Ducktails solo project, Real Estate guitarist Matthew Mondanile has gone from the muddy lo-fi of 2009’s self-titled debut to the more sophisticated indie-pop of 2013’s ‘The Flower Lane’. Produced by Rob Schnapf (co-producer of Elliott Smith’s ‘XO’), fifth album ‘St Catherine’ ups the gloss even further. ‘Headbanging In The Mirror’ comes on like a lost Prefab Sprout ’80s pop song, and the title track’s dreamy melody is in line with Real Estate’s best. Elsewhere though, the record lacks substance. The guitars on ‘Heaven’s Room’ – one of two tracks featuring vocals from Los Angeles singer Julia Holter – shimmer prettily but fail to leave a lasting impression, and ‘Medieval’ is pleasing but forgettable. ‘St Catherine’’s surface may be polished to perfection, but much of what’s underneath feels hollow.

Details

Director: Rb Schnapf
Record label: Domino
Release date: 24 Jul, 2015