When I heard Ducktails had a new album out this year I got excited, not because I had high expectations, but because I liked Ducktails previous album on a superficial level and that was enough. Arcade Dynamics, the aforementioned album was the type of record that begs to be noticed but asks for little more. Like a naïve love, the record wanted to be liked, and I almost got the impression that it wouldn’t know what to do with success if it got it. But now I know. Now I know that after receiving the attention they deserved Ducktails decided to pull out the big guns. These are the guns that it had flashed and flirted with on Arcade Dynamic but up unto this point had been firmly holstered. And it makes me happy, something both albums have now succeeded in doing.
Being a side project of Real Estate, Ducktails potential was never in question. In a way Ducktails is the prototypical side project, it generates attention for the main project, gives members of the group a creative outlet, and broadens the discography for fans. Arcade Dynamics did all of those things. The Flower Lane does them better, in fact it does everything better. The song writing is on another level. Where Killing the Vibe was previously Ducktail’s clear best song The Flower Lane features no best song, mostly because all of the songs are as good if not better than Killing the Vibe. At the same time the album succeeds in that it won’t alienate anyone, whether they liked Real Estate, Arcade Dynamics or a similar band like Beach House or Beach Fossils. Elements of Real Estate, characterized by its breezy feel and its “who cares?” vibe are represented on The Flower Lane, but they are utilized differently, different vocals, different instrumentation, different album, different style.
If you needed a hallmark for success than a perfect example would be my co writer John. Having liked Real Estate he gave The Flower Lane a chance and liked it. It’s that simple. Mission accomplished Ducktails. Return to base.