Matt Mondanile might be best known as the guitarist in mellow indie rockers Real Estate, but he has been recording as Ducktails for longer, with an initial emphasis on more experimental, lo-fi amorphous jamming. As time has gone on, however, his two bands have undergone a gradual stylistic convergence: as with Real Estate at their best (see last year’s Atlas), the songs on this fifth album sound deceptively lightweight on the surface, but their air of carefree serenity is undercut with tugs of melancholy. The breezy Surreal Exposure is an unhurried delight, as is instrumental opener The Disney Afternoon. Throw in a couple of collaborations with Julia Holter, and you have an album that’s ideal for lazy summer afternoons.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine