Ducktails (music)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ducktails (band))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mondanile in Paramus, New Jersey 2017
Background information
OriginNew Jersey, United States
Years active2006 (2006)–present
Associated actsBig Troubles
Past members
  • Luka Usmiani
  • Samuel Franklin
  • Alex Craig
  • Josh da Costa
  • Malcolm Perkins
  • Ross Chait
  • Dale Simmons

Ducktails is a music project led by American songwriter and guitarist Matt Mondanile, started in 2006.[7][8] From 2013 to 2016, it was expanded as a band.

Following a number of limited-run cassette releases, the 2009 albums Ducktails and Landscapes brought Ducktails critical recognition. The project was associated with the mid-2000s hypnagogic pop scene.[1][2] six studio albums have been released since then.[9]

In late 2017 Matt Mondanile's former bandmates claimed that he had been fired from the band in early 2016 due to allegations of sexual misconduct.


Origins and early recordings[edit]

Mondanile started Ducktails in a tool shed in Northampton, Massachusetts the summer before his last year at Hampshire College.[10][11][12] The band name is a play on the title of the animated television series, DuckTales, from the late 1980s and early 1990s.[13] He recorded his first release, 1992 Demo, on a 4-track with cheap multi effects pedals and a guitar. After leaving college he moved back to his parents' home in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he recorded in the basement.[12] Between 2007 and 2012 he recorded several albums, singles, cassettes, and split releases, mostly recorded on cassette tape.[14][15][16][17]

Ducktails' self-titled debut album proper was released in 2009 on the Not Not Fun label, followed later that year with Landscapes. Third studio album Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics was released in 2011 on the Woodsist label, and saw a move away from improvised experiments towards pop.[18][19] Ducktails releases have received significant critical acclaim, most notably from Pitchfork Media who have favourably reviewed the albums,[20] and produced two video features on the band.[21] The band were associated with the mid-2000s hypnagogic pop scene by critics.[1][2]

The Flower LaneJersey Devil[edit]

In 2012 Mondanile signed to Domino Records and released The Flower Lane. In contrast to his earlier work, it was recorded in a studio and mixed over the summer of 2012 with Al Carlson (Peaking Lights) and co-written by New Jersey band Big Troubles, who had backed Mondanile in live shows for some time.[16][22] The ten-track album was released January 28, 2013, preceded by the single "Letter of Intent", which featured vocals from Jessa Farkas of Future Shuttle and bass from Joel Ford of Ford & Lopatin.[23][24][25][26] On January 23, 2013, Pitchfork TV broadcast a live stream of the band's album release show at Manhattan's (Le) Poisson Rouge with guest appearances from Big Troubles, Joel Ford, Jessa Farkas, and Real Estate's Martin Courtney.[27]

Ducktails have played many international festivals including Primavera Sound[28] and Field Day. As Ducktails, Mondanile has toured the world solo as well as with a band performing extensively in Australia, Japan, Europe, United States and Canada.[24][29] Mondanile has also collaborated with Panda Bear of Animal Collective as well as Madeline Follin of Cults and Dan Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never.

On July 25, 2013 Ducktails performed in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art as part of PopRally's MoMa Nights series.[24][30][31][32]

Their music has been positively reviewed by the BBC[33] and is regularly played on BBC 6Music by the likes of Gideon Coe, Marc Riley and Don Letts.[34][35][36]

As of 2017, Mondanile runs the New Images record label,[32] through which he released the 2017 Ducktails album Jersey Devil after Domino — who had released the previous two Ducktails albums — "didn't want to put it out," Mondanile said.[37]

On October 14, 2017, it was reported that Mondanile's departure from Real Estate was due to allegations made against Mondanile regarding his "unacceptable treatment of women."[38] Prior to the band's statement, Mondanile had denied the allegations.[39] As a result of the allegations, Ducktails tour dates in Asia and the U.S. were cancelled by the promoters,[40] publicist Daniel Gill and former label Woodsist ceased working with Ducktails,[41], and Ducktails was dropped by the Japanese label Plancha.[42] Most of Ducktails' albums were also briefly removed from streaming services.[43]

Musical style[edit]

The band's music has been alternately characterized as "hypnagogic pop", "woozy, horizontal pop" and "lo-fi".[44][45] AllMusic described their work as "all burbling analog synths, bedroom processing, and sunburnt soundscapes."[5] Jason Lymangrover in The List described Ducktails releases as having "a sketchpad feel to them" described as "a typically giddy blend of psych, drone, summer jams, tropical riffs and hazy vocalisms".[11][18] Early recordings were freeform jams, once described as "bizarre, krautrock-influenced sound collages", but later material has more conventional song structures, more akin to his work in Real Estate.[17][22][46][47][48] Liz Pelly, reviewing The Flower Lane for the Providence Phoenix described his earlier work as "collaged pop ideas with kaleidoscopic filters and home-recorded hiss".[10]

In a 2009 interview, Mondanile described his live performances as "improvised and more like drone music".[12] He explained his preference for recording on cassette: "I like the idea of everything being as raw-sounding as possible, with nothing covering up the sound. It's like the only thing covering it up might be the quality of the recording".[12]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums


  • Ducktails (2008), Breaking World Records
  • Killin the Vibe (2011), New Images
  • Wish Hotel (2013), Domino


  • Backyard (2009) Release The Bats
  • Daffy Duck in Hollywood (2017) New Images
  • Hummingbird Babysitter (2017) New Images


  • "Mirror Image" (2010), SHDWPLY
  • "Hamilton Road" (2010), Olde English Spelling Bee
  • "Letter of Intent" (2013), Domino
  • "Headbanging in the Mirror" (2015), Domino
  • "Surreal Exposure" (2015), Domino
  • "Don't Wanna Let You Know " (2015) New Images
  • "Plastic Melody" (2018) New Images
  • "New Dream" (2018) New Images


Live recordings

  • Live On WFMU (2010), Inflated

Split releases

  • Julian Lynch/Ducktails split EP (2009), Underwater Peoples
  • Bored Fortress (2010), Not Not Fun – split single with Rangers
  • Ducktails/Dracula Lewis split (2010), No Fun

Cassette-only releases

  • 1992 Demo (2007), Future Sound Recordings
  • Dreams In Mirror Field (2007), Future Sound Recordings
  • II (2008), Future Sound Recordings
  • Acres Of Shade (2008), Arbor
  • Summer Of Saucers (2008, 2nd edition 2013), DNT – split with Mudboy
  • Ducktails / Gang Wizard / Vluba / Golden Cup (2008), 8mm
  • Universal Mutant Studios (2009), Stenze Quo Musik/Historiaens – split with Buffle, In the Eye of Vision, and Cotopaxi
  • Lost (2010), Fuck It Tapes
  • Memory Lane (2011)


  1. ^ a b c Blackwell, Matthew (June 23, 2010). "Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal album review". Prefix Mag.
  2. ^ a b c Whiteley, Sheila; Rambarran, Shara (January 22, 2016). The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality. Oxford University Press. p. 412.
  3. ^ Goble, Corban (April 1, 2011). "R.I.P., chillwave: the top 10 chillwave artists, and where they are now". The Pitch.
  4. ^ Bevan, David. "Ducktails: Landscapes Album Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  6. ^ Cumbie, Jansen (October 15, 2010). "Road Trip Review: Ducktails and more". Charleston City Paper.
  7. ^ Hann, Michael (2013) "Ducktails: The Flower Lane – review", The Guardian, January 24, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  8. ^ Martins, Chris (2013) "See Ducktails Freeze in Central Park for 'Letter of Intent' Video", Spin, February 22, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  9. ^ "Listen to Ducktails". Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  10. ^ a b Pelly, Liz (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane Archived December 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine", Providence Phoenix, January 23, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  11. ^ a b Meighan, Nicola (2011) "Interview - Ducktails set for UK tour", The List, May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  12. ^ a b c d Steeply, Hugh (2009) "Ducktails: Interview", Tiny Mix Tapes, February 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  13. ^ Truss, Si (2011) "DUCKTAILS: DUCKTAILS III – ARCADE DYNAMICS", FACT, January 24, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  14. ^ Rathe, Adam (2013) "Ducktails’ Matt Mondanile Reveals His Top Five Flora",, January 24, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  15. ^ Powell, Christopher (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane", CMJ, January 29, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  16. ^ a b Beta, Andy (2013) "How A Studio Changes Your Sound", NPR, February 28, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  17. ^ a b Prado, Ryan J. (2013) "Life in the Flower Lane: Ducktails Blooms in the Big Apple", Portland Mercury, March 20, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  18. ^ a b Lymangrover, Jason "Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics Review", Allmusic. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  19. ^ Beta, Andy (2011) "Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics", Spin, March 2011, pp. 78-9. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  20. ^ Hyden, Steven (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane", Pitchfork Media, January 29, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  21. ^ "Ducktails", Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  22. ^ a b Clay, Joe (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane", The Quietus, February 1, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  23. ^ Deziel, Melanie (2013) "Ducktails Deliver Their 'Letter of Intent' - Premiere",, February 22, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  24. ^ a b c Brackbill, Shawn (2012) "Ducktails Announce New Album, Share Track", Pitchfork Media, October 10, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  25. ^ Brown, Jacob (2012) "Song Debut: Ducktails' "Letter of Intent" Featuring Jessa Farkas", Vogue, December 4, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  26. ^ Murray, Robin (2013) "Letter of Intent: Ducktails", Clash, March 12, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  27. ^ Pelly, Jenn (2013) "Ducktails' Flower Lane Release Show to Stream Live via, Featuring LP's Many Collaborators", Pitchfork Media, January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  28. ^ "Live at Primavera Sound, Day 1: Playlist from May 27, 2011", Retrieved May 11, 2013
  29. ^ Pelly, Jenn (2012) "Listen to Ducktails' "Letter of Intent", Featuring Oneohtrix Point Never on Synths", Pitchfork Media, December 4, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  30. ^ Matthew Levine. "Live Review: Ducktails @ MoMA: July 25, 2013". Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  31. ^ Thomas, Fred (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane Review", Allmusic. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  32. ^ a b Carew, Anthony (2011) "Interview: Matt Mondanile of Real Estate and Ducktails",, October 11, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  33. ^ Clarke, Jude (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane Review", BBC, January 17, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  34. ^ "Gideon Coe, 12/03/2013", BBC. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  35. ^ "Marc Riley Wed 13 Feb 2013", BBC. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  36. ^ "Don Letts 11/03/2013", BBC. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  37. ^ Cush, Andy (2017-10-13). "Matt Mondanile aka Ducktails Departed Real Estate Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Spin. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  38. ^ "Real Estate Fired Guitarist Matt Mondanile in 2016 Because He Allegedly Mistreated Women | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  39. ^ Hogan, Marc (2017-10-16). "Matt Mondanile Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Multiple Women". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  40. ^ "Ducktails shows cancelled amid sexual assault allegations". The Guardian. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  41. ^ Yakas, Ben (2017-10-18). "Ducktails Shows Cancelled After Ex-Real Estate Guitarist Accused Of Sexual Misconduct". Gothamist. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  42. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (2017-10-18). "Ducktails Dropped by Japanese Label, Tour Canceled". Spin. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  43. ^ Payne, Chris (2017-10-31). "Ducktails Albums Removed From Streaming Services After Matt Mondanile's Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  44. ^ "FACT mix 369: Ducktails", FACT, February 11, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  45. ^ Howells, Tom "Ducktails The Flower Lane", Crack. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  46. ^ Neyland, Nick (2012) "Ducktails "The Flower Lane"", Pitchfork Media, October 10, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  47. ^ Jack, Malcolm (2013) "Ducktails - The Flower Lane", The List, January 17, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013
  48. ^ Mincher, Chris (2013) "Ducktails The Flower Lane", The A.V. Club, January 29, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013

External links[edit]

Media related to Matt Mondanile at Wikimedia Commons