Ducktails

By Jonathan Fuchs, Copy Editor

I’ve never really been good at discovering new bands on Bandcamp. Sometimes I stumble upon hidden gems, but I usually depend on friends, Facebook groups, and whatever Facebook event page for a nearby DIY show that has Bandcamp links. At this moment, those sources aren’t really giving me what I want, so instead I’ll leave the weird comfort that is Bandcamp to talk about a band that’s been on my mind for a while now, and that’s Ducktails.

The band’s name always intrigued me, since it plays off “DuckTales,” the popular ’80s retro cartoon that I’ve been watching a lot of since I started college (other retro cartoons I’ve been binge-watching since I graduated high school include “Darkwing Duck,” “Rocko’s Modern Life” and the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Because of “DuckTales,” I’ve always chuckled to myself when I saw their name in a Pitchfork article or saw them in a music venue’s calendar, but I was never interested enough to actually check them out.

After stumbling upon their newest track “Don’t Want To Let You Know,” I was immediately sold. I loved their strange synths, funky bass and singer Matt Mondanile’s voice. After some more research, I learned that Matt Mondanile is actually the guitarist for Real Estate, and that Ducktails is a side project of his. Real Estate has always been a band I enjoy quite a bit, even if I found their last album, Atlas, bland, so I began to question why I never checked Ducktails out earlier.

The next track I checked out was “Headbanging in the Mirror,” which I loved since it sounded like a psychedelic Real Estate song. It didn’t really sound at all like the first song that I listened to, since it was calmer and there were no synths this time, but I still loved it.

When I figured out that this was a single off their newest album St. Catherine, which came out earlier this year, I decided just to check the album out.

I pressed play and immediately burst out laughing when I found out the first track is called “The Disney Afternoon,” which is a string of programming on the Disney Channel where “Ducktales” played on television when it aired.

I was fascinated by this album and loved almost everything about it. Slow songs on calming indie albums like these always bore me to tears (and can even give me minor anxiety), but the slower tracks on this album like “Heaven’s Room” never became bland because of its unique violins and layering of the background vocals.

Listening to St. Catherine was like something I’ve never experienced before; almost every single track was flawless in my eyes and it was everything I think of when I think about the perfect summer album.

Ducktails is very similar to Real Estate, except without the pop sound, and instead more of psychedelic influence, which makes the instrumentation a lot more interesting. This is most definitely going to be a band I’ll spend a lot more of my time and money on.