Matt Mondanile reveals he left Real Estate because band ‘not chill enough’

BROOKLYN — Former Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile revealed in an interview with Pitchfork writer Ian Cohen early Monday morning that he hadn’t actually left the indie rock band to work on his solo project, but because the band “wasn’t chill enough.”

“People are saying I left Real Estate to work on my solo stuff, which just isn’t true,” says Mondanile. “A lot of fans don’t know this but Ducktails is just Real Estate songs played backwards anyway, only chiller.”



Martin Courtney, the band’s vocalist, says he was shocked by his childhood friend’s departure: “All I know is I went into the studio one day and all the hacky sacks and Capri Suns were gone.”

Sources close to the friends say this rift in the band came as no surprise, and that tension had been growing among the band mates since Courtney recorded over Mondanile’s VHS tape of Weekend at Bernie’s.

Best albums of December 2015

The holiday season is usually a graveyard for new music, unless you like the same seven Christmas songs lazily rehashed by 100 different artists. I personally don’t. I didn’t even plan on making a list of December, but here we are. Check out these great albums released last month.

Steve Sobs – Open Spaces

This is a cool record. Open Spaces shifts masterfully between mesmerizing and upbeat bedroom pop like “The Undergound” and “Nights Out” to songs like the borderline sinister “Empty Streets”, which is what I imagine plays in the waiting room of Satan’s dentist office. Bottom line, Open Spaces is all about blending expansive sounds to create the sensation of open spaces (reverb helps) and, like most bedroom bandcamp projects, it’s about doing a lot with a little. In this it succeeds tremendously.

You’ll like this if you like: Fog Lake and Alex G
Best song: “The Underground”


Blah Blah Blah – This is for the Time

These veterans of ballroom-rock hailing from Chicago dropped this 12 track treat on New Year’s Eve. This is for the Time is 29 minutes of romantic, soulful  guitar rock fit to make a NME columnist change his pants.

You’ll like this is if you like: The Smiths, Ski Lodge, and Cut Off Your Hands
Best song: “I’ve Been So Down”


Holy Wave – The Evil has Landed pt II

Holy Wave’s third effort is equal parts psychedelic, lo-fi, and noisy pop goodness. It’s also 100% worth a listen.

You’ll like this if you like: Chastity Belt and Cloud Nothings
Best song: “Hood Dreams”


Plastic Flowers – Summer of 1992

A pretty straightforward dream pop EP. It’s five songs, all of which are solid. You can tell they’ve really cleaned up their sound from their 2014 debut LP Evergreen, for better or for worse, and laid off the synth a bit in favor of jangle-y slacker guitar riffs.

You’ll like this if you like: Ducktails, Keep Shelly in Athens, and Widowspeak
Best song: “Cloudy Wastelands”


The Walters – Young Men

I’m going to keep this short because I’ve been preaching about The Walters since before I had this blog and even I’m getting tired of it, but these guys are going to be huge. This follow-up EP just further proves my point. Their self-styled cardigan rock is universal in its charm and if their motivated enough, they’ll break through to the inner circle of beloved,  indie starlets by the end of 2016.

You’ll like this if you like:  Good Morning and Alex Bleeker & The Freaks (first album only)
Best song: “City Blues”


Other great albums from December

Emily Yacina – Soft Stuff

Florist – Holdly

Olivier Heim – A Different Life

Archy Marshall – A New Place to Drown



The best albums of October & November 2015

So, if we’re being honest, I didn’t do a best-of list for October not because there weren’t any good albums (October was bonkers), but because I plum forgot. Luckily, since November was disappointing album-wise, as the end of the year often is, I decided to combine the two months into one post. Enjoy.

Dråpe – Relax/Relapse

One of the best, most accessible pop albums of the year. Only one listen required to see the hype.

Favorite song: “Replica”


Alex G – Beach Songs 

Alex G does it again, nuff said.

Favorite song – “Brite Boy”


Neon Indian – Vega Intl. Night School

I’ll admit I was skeptic. My first listen through, all I could think was how much the album sounded like Toro Y Moi’s disappointing third LP, which was just a rehashing of disco but with more reverb. Now this sounds like Neon Indian rehashing and Chazwick’s rehash. But it’s not. It’s soulful, terribly charming, and can stand in its own right as a banger of a record if you ignore its complete lack of innovation.

Favorite songs: News from a Sun (live bootleg)


Macross 82-99 – CHAM!

Die-hard futurefunk and vaporwave fans might not like where Macross, futurefunk’s most talented and prolific producer, has gone with his newest effort. There will be those that are sad he’s drifting away from funking up old japanese disco deep cuts. But they’re wrong. With CHAM! he manages to strike the perfect balance between delivering atypical, futurefunk bangers for his old fans, and branching into exciting, newer hip hop-influenced sounds.

Favorite song: “I Miss You (feat. Roman)”


Krts – Close Eyes to Exit

A thumping fever dream of gorgeous beeps and bloops with the odd hip hop feature. It’s quiet and loud and goes 100mph. You’ll fall asleep listening to it and then wake up with your shirt soaked with sweat and gasping, “what the hell is this music?”

Favorite song: “Come to this”


Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

“Man, I really liked ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’ from Ought’s new album, but I sure wish the album as the whole was better. If only there were another, similar post-punk band that rock even harder.”

Favorite Song: “The Devil in his Youth”


Honorable Mentions

Sea Ghost – SG
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
Violent Mae – Kid
Blessed Feather – There Will Be No Sad Tomorrow
U.S. Girls – Half Free
Kyle – Smyle
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier