With this year’s The Flower Lane Matt Mondanile effectively split his Ducktails fans into two camps: those who were all for the project’s transformation into a proper full-bodied group and those who missed his beginnings as a lo-fi bedroom-pop solo act. In some ways the latter’s cravings have been sated with Wish Hotel a new mini-release recorded entirely by Mondanile all by his lonesome at his New Jersey home. But even without all the extra musical muscle the EP is very much a continuation of The Flower Lane .
Keeping things hi-fi Wish Hotel once again explores the Real Estate member’s newfound love for the slickity slick ditching any old blurry Ducktails qualities for instrumentation that’s bright and sparkling. However Mondanile is still all about keeping it chill hiding his breathy vocals with a cloud of haze as jazzy high-in-the-mix drums lead a blend of swirling synthesizers and psych-tinted guitars.
If Wish Hotel had been tacked onto The Flower Lane as a bonus disc no one would have batted an eye. On its own the EP is a pleasant though not essential companion piece. At the very least it proves The Flower Lane wasn’t simply the result of Mondanile’s newfound collaborators.