While Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile's previous work under the name Ducktails were solo efforts with a lo-fi bedroom sound, 'Flower Lane' was recorded with a full band, with lush instrumentation and fluid melodies making for a very dreamy, and at times extremely psychedelic, listening experience. The true beauty of this album took a few listens to reveal itself to me, and I'm glad I decided to give it another go after my brief, somewhat underwhelming listening experience while streaming these tracks last week.
Upon first blush, the songs here seem like your standard laid-back dream-pop, only with more heartfelt and sincere lyrics than most. However, after my initial sampling, I noticed that I couldn't get certain songs out of my head. I finally gave the album a couple more thorough listens, uncovering elements I hadn't previously noticed, such as intertwining melodies and tripped-out background atmospherics that, when combined with the nostalgia-laced lyrics and overall contemplative, warm-yet-melancholy vibe, made for an excellent late-night headphone journey last night.
Highlights for me include the blissful, catchy jangle-pop of "Ivy Covered House" as well as "Letter of Intent," which features ethereal guest vocals from Jessa Farkas over a hypnotic beat and swirling synths that have been stuck in my head for days now. My favorite, though, is "Under Cover," which has an almost "smooth jazz" vibe that wouldn't have been out of place on an 80's Roxy Music album, only dreamier, due to excellent noodling jazz guitar weaving in and out of the main groove. It even features a mini sax solo, which only adds to the 80's vibe, but not in a cheesy way.
Divide and Conquer is dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We review a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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