“Wish Hotel” by Ducktails

October 22. 2013 | By Patryk Mrozek


Wish Hotel EP

Whether with Real Estate or side project Ducktails‘ Matthew Mondanile seems to be retracing the history of popular music…backwards. His “day band’s” first LP suggested a jovial devotion to ‘90s slacker-rock, which, by the time of Days, gave way to a sound clearly indebted to British and Kiwi bands of the mid-eighties. When Ducktails’ last proper album came out earlier this year though, the critics were eager to pinpoint the wealth of Steely Dan-like harmonies and classic rock shredding. Now, Wish Hotel makes use of all the above tropes in a mixture that sounds unmistakably Ducktails, yet this time with open nods to a psychedelic ‘60s sound.

Nowhere is it more evident than in the eponymous track, which could as well be a peppy Tame Impala song. Whether intentional or completely random, that band’s style has a strong hold on the production of the EP, too: acidic and angular, hi-hat heavy with bouncy bass high in the mix. The Beatles-esque, wistful “Honey Tiger Eyes” is the obvious highlight in the bunch with heart-clenching synth and bass counterpoints and some of the best lyrics we’ve ever heard from Mondanile: “It took a second for you to notice / It took a little while for your to care.” We want to think that Wish Hotel offers insight into Matt Mondanile’s songwriting process: never completely pleased with one musical approach, he’s continuously fiddling with an arrangement he can already call his own.

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