When Matt Mondaile releases new Ducktails material, it always seems to be something worth noting. This is because there is a definitive air of tropicalism to his music as Ducktails, even though Mondanile has probably never stepped into a jungle in his life. As a result, it is hazy and humid, not to mention repetitive and distorted to the nth degree by guitar pedals and tape noise. The effect however, is this incredibly rich journey for the listener through a reality that only Mondanile can conjure, where the anti-natural/artificial world mixes with our own.
Mondaile delivers all of this with the latest Ducktails release Mirror Image. The A-side, “Apple Walk” is very similar to his nostalgia-rich songs on earlier releases like the compilation Backyard. The guitar lines dazzle and shimmer, like how light is broken up by the leaves of waving trees, and the flange effect ebbs and flows like the tide on a beach. Essentially it is the soundtrack to the most perfect walk (either by yourself or with a loved one) that you never had.
Things then take an intriguing turn with the title track. A faux-tribal, broken rhythm opens the tune and then the synths come in, slowly oozing and building in a Minimalist pattern, until it’s thick like a hot summer day, with the heat rising from the ground up. In addition this ambient landscape, there is the obscure title. What is the mirror image? What is it reflecting? These are questions that can only be answered by Mondaile himself or by the listener themselves. But that’s alright – the mystery is an enduring one and it enriches the listening experience, thus having you come back for more.