Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics
If you’re anything like me, this winter’s had you holed up in your house a few too many times, and at this point, you’re feeling a little cabin feverish. If so, do yourself a favor and check out Ducktails’ new album, “III: Arcade Dynamics.” Ducktails is the solo project of Matt Mondanile from Real Estate, who provides the perfect antidote for the winter chill. For just one dude, Mondanile creates some impressively layered lo-fi pop that’ll make you feel like you’re hanging out at a sunny beach instead of on the frozen tundra. “Hamilton Road” is a stand-out track on “III,” where Mondanile describes a scene where the “ocean’s dancin’ with the shoreline,” in a way that’ll make you feel a little jealous you’re not there. The album’s closing song, “Porch Projector,” is also lovely—a ten-minute instrumental you’ll find yourself getting utterly lost in (in a good way).
White Fence Is Growing Faith
White Fence’s second album on Woodsist, “Is (Growing Faith),” won’t disappoint fans of Timothy Presley’s earlier output. On “Is,” Presley further proves his mastery of psychedelic, trippy pop jams that are loose, yet beautifully simple and clean all at once. White Fence’s tunes are a fine nod to later-era Beatles (you know, post-drug discovery), or, as more recent reference points, sounds not unlike those the Fresh & Onlys or the Box Elders have been churning out. Listening to “Is,” with its crafty distortion and low-key vibes, is like taking a trip straight back to the 60s. “Stranger Things Have Happened (To You)” is a nearly perfect pop song: it sleepily and steadily rolls along, like a slow back-roads drive on a sunny day. With 15 tracks, “Is” has a lot to explore. Another high point is the track “Your Last Friend Alive,” a jangly song that’s equal parts haunting and poppy. On this album, Presley’s songwriting truly reaches a high point in the realm of 60s revival sound.