by Mandy McGee
Matt Mondanile is a musician from New Jersey who plays guitar in Real Estate and has a solo project called Ducktails. Some people don’t like genre labels or know how to label music; Mondanile describes Ducktails as ecstatic dream music. His newest LP supporting Ducktails, St. Catherine, is out now and it’s the perfect daydreaming album.
The album’s abstract guitar twangs, sleepy sweet melodies, and carefree playfulness makes nostalgia hit you like a ton of bricks in the most delightful way, especially on the song “Surreal Exposure”. The track’s lovesick tones pull at your heart strings. Like many of his other music videos, the video is quirky and light-hearted. Mondanile wants his videos to be funny, relateable, and have concepts that showcase his weird quirky side. “Surreal Exposure” was a happy accident: he and his friend, Mac DeMarco (who is featured along side Mondanile in the video) “just decided to go to Mac’s house and film it.” He feels music videos are an important component to sound and brings the artist closer to the listener. Some of Mondanile’s favorite music videos are Beastie Boys-Sabotage, Blur-Coffee and TV, and Weezer-El Scorcho.
I feel music and visuals are important married together in some way. I am a photographer and a musician and I have always loved visuals being accompanied with music. Mondanile does photography as well and has plans on making a photo book of all the backyards of places he stays at on tour. He has always loved taking pictures; one of the cameras he likes to use is an old Olympus XA. In college he made a three screen video installation about the fall of the Berlin Wall using archival footage of German news.
St. Catherine has taken the longest to record out of all the albums he has done. He started recording throughout 2014 in various studios and bedrooms out of NYC, Berlin and LA, then finished it up in 2015. Like some of his previous albums, Mondanile brings in friends to record various instruments and vocals. The newest album features the beautiful voice of singer-songwriter Julia Holter on a few tracks. “It is hard to translate some of the female voices live,” he says, “so a lot of the time we just keep those parts out of the show or try and recreate it.”
Other than heading back to his parents’ house to go through old photos for the book, Mondanile is going to be doing a short tour in support of St. Catherine. This includes a stop in Philadelphia tonight at Boot and Saddle along with Itasca and Roof Doctor. Mondanile also wants to build a studio sometime in September and October, then tour around Europe for a month in the fall.