Archive for real estate

Album Review: Underwater Peoples Records Showcase

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, May 10, 2009 by Erik Burg

      Underwater Peoples, the label that has brought amazing beach pop music to the attention of many (me included) is feeling quite generous this summer, giving away a summer sampler of all of their upcoming releases.

      Featuring the two most popular names from the label, Real Estate and Ducktails, the sampler fits in perfectly with your summer playlist. Along with the two instantly recognizable names, other less known artists littered throughout the album help round the entire sampler into something that feels much more like a real album or playlist than a random assortment of talent. Expect to hear names like Julian Lynch, Broken Trees, and Frat Dad not only in the next few paragraphs but throughout the next year as well.

underwater peoples showcase

      If you’ve ever heard anything from this label you know exactly what it sounds like, it’s an instantaneous reaction. If you haven’t though, let me begin by likening it to a few different bands: Air France, Wavves, and Panda Bear. A pretty formidable line-up if I do say so. It’s Underwater Peoples distinct style of artists that makes them so successful, too.

      The perfect combination of young talent in a niche market makes the label fully marketable to the right crowd, and creates a sort of obsession and craze around it that other companies can’t match. It’s exactly like magazines to newspapers; sure papers are good, but they can be too broad and the writing unspecific, yet the magazine can cover one area really well and with better writing tuned to the audience. It’s easy to see why this formula works.

      At any rate though, the sampler is the prefect treat for the upcoming summer months. From the pacific themed (I’m a big BSS fan) “Beach Comber” by Real Estate, to the less warm yet still enjoyable “Snow (Instrumental)” by the same act, There’s lots to love even from the headliners. But it’s track like “Banana Jam Pt. 1” from Julian Lynch and “Happy Still” from Broken Trees that makes me want to try and surf on the banks of the Mississippi around here.

Real Estate – “Beach Comber”

      It’s just something about this type of music that makes me happy. And not like a snobby happy that people get from Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective or something like that, but a feeling of near pure bliss that makes me just smile incessantly. I guess slightly lo-fi wave pop is my new thing, who knows.

      Let’s examine “Aqua” by Sad City for a moment. The last track on the album, and the only one by Sad City, it fades away like any great closer should, and yet the way the track builds internally is mesmerizing as well. The random percussion loops, the quite strings throughout, and clatter of instruments that are shaken not plucked all pieced together with Air France-like untranslatable vocal chattering samples that make a track that seems buried on the sampler still stick out.

      The music all seems like it’s completely new, a genre that’s just bursting with life and with an exuberant following ready to push it far into the limelight. Maybe it’s just the perfect timing of the summer and this album, but the Underwater Peoples Showcase has gotten my attention. So put on this tape, grab a buddy, open a cold one, sit on the beach, and reminisce over how beautiful life can be.

Grab the whole thing for FREE 

Underwater Peoples Summer Showcase

9 is the number of times I listened to “Beach Comber” while I wrote this, out of 10


So this Matthew Mondanile guy is the man

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on Monday, March 30, 2009 by Erik Burg

Matthew Mondanile is the lead man for the band Real Estate, and solo man on the project Ducktails. Matthew Mondanile pretty much rocks. There seems to be quite a backstory for the guy too, which I’m trying to sweep together piece by piece as well. But it’s easy to find out how great his music is. Check out a clip of an interview he did for Viceland:

It’s a basic tip, but it sounds like a good one.
Yeah. So at New World Hot Dog we’d listen to music and drink beer. Before I was introduced to Pacific City I was pretty bummed and didn’t know how to focus my jams. I was scatter-brained – I traveled to different places while I was in Pacific City, like Finland, Spain, Granada and just chilled with my friend Brittany. Granada’s one of the most beautiful places…

Hold on – what island did you say Pacific City was on?
I’m not really sure. It’s somewhere between New Jersey and Asia.

Does it exist in the physical world?
For some people, yes. But not for others.


So there is Real Estate, a four person band New Jersey. And apparently the band spend a great amount of time on the Jersey shore growing up, many of their track titles and themes for the lyrics seem to be derived from the mist and crashes of the busy shore. You can hear it in the first few seconds of “Pool Swimmers,” there is this misty and fuzzy sound lingering above all that is going on. The slow moving guitar, not on in “Pool Swimmers” but in other tracks as well, creates a very comfortable atmosphere for the listener. Their snares have a spooky feeling to them as well, reminding me of a one Ancient Crux I featured on here a while back. The watered-down and distant vocals feel right at home, nestled down below all of the interweaving of the music. If Brooklyn and the Caribbean had a kid, he’d make music like this. 

Real Estate – “Beach Comber”

And then there is Ducktails. The much more adventurous and experimental outlet for Mondanile. I guess I’ll stick with my hypothetical children theme and say that Ducktails is like the bastard child of Panda Bear and Air France. For growing up in New Jersey this guy sure does have a grasp on the sunny beach theme. “Beach Point Pleasant” is a looping masterpiece, with a sample starting things off and continuing throughout the entire piece. The track seems to exemplify what Ducktails is all about, stringy guitar and peaceful mellotrons, little to no vocalization, and presto: it’s 1968 and you’re sitting the beach with a young Brian Wilson. 

Ducktails – “Beach Point Pleasant” 

I feel terribly naive talking about this man’s music, for it seems as though there is a lot more to take on than what I have for the past few days. But I love what he does, and I want you to love it as well. So obviously I would highly encourage giving either of the two actsducktails a spin, especially this time of the year Ducktails can at least make you feel like it isn’t still below freezing outside, ha. (I’ve been running a cabin fever theme on here for years it feels like). Most of all though, support what you like, buy a record, buy one Ducktails tapes even. It’s bands like this that make me keep a great perspective on music and its influence on me. It can make me smile and weep with the same loop, hanging on the twang of every string. Cliched? fuck it. I love music.