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‘Wish Hotel’ ruffles Ducktails’ slacker feathers

Album review: Ducktails’ ‘Wish Hotel’

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Ducktails – Wish Hotel
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Matt Mondanile’s murky Ducktails side project receives a gentle jolt on Wish Hotel. While not redefining the innermost limits of jangly guitar-rock with New Jersey band Real Estate, Mondanile coats Ducktails’ self-recorded bedroom folk in layers of lo-fi murk and ephemeral anonymity. But where past full-lengths The Flower Lane and Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics felt slight, this five-song EP shakes the dust out of that discography. “Tie-Dye” features insistent snares and eerie keyboards that are hauntingly catchy, while “Honey Tiger Eyes” sways with symphonic resonance. “Wish Hotel” welds experimental and pop tendencies onto a wheezing electric guitar solo, and Mondanile breaks from the Ducktails formula on the jammy alternate time signature of “Jazz.” Inner Zen is still required to get down with Wish Hotel – the EP just ruffles those smooth, slacker feathers a bit.

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