Ducktails, the increasingly less “solo” project of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile, just seems to get better and better! I really enjoyed some of his earlier releases, but it wasn’t until last year’s Arcade Dynamics that I properly took notice and began to see Ducktails as being far less of a side-project and a lot more of an act that can hold its own. New track The Flower Lane sounds really fantastic and proves that he really does seem to be going from strength-to-strength.
Recorded and mixed over the summer, this is Mondanile’s forth album and his first to be put out through Domino Records. Pieced together as Mondanile’s touring with Real Estate started to wind down, the album is due for release in January of next year. As tasters go The Flower Lane has certainly whet my appetite and has me ready for next year’s new album with bated breath!
It’s been a while since I checked out the portfolio of Swiss photographer Gaëtan Rossier. Rossier is a photographer who I’ve mentioned in the past has a really great eye for composition and I love the way that he photographs architecture and interiors.
His series ‘Castle’ is an unusual collection of images which you wouldn’t normally think of if you had to imagine a castle. The place in question is the Château de l’Aile, a medieval mansion in Vevey, Switzerland. Rossier photographs feel to me to be full of contradictions; they feel sombre yet quirky, odd yet every-day. It’s a strange combination but it completely works. You can view the complete series of images on Rossier’s website here.
I really love these pictures by the Antwerp-based illustrator Astrid Yskout. They were made for Deep in the Woods, a small festival which happened last month in a forest in Belgium near the French border. The festival itself sounds really nice, with 4 generations of music lovers enjoying live music together as well as photography, film, art, good food and nice countryside.
Astrid’s illustrations really seem to capture the mood of the festival, showing it as a place with nice music, great nature and everyone just having fun and taking it easy. It seems like the perfect way to wrap up the summer and taking a look at the photos from this year’s event I think I might just have to head along if I find myself near Belgium this time next year!
Last Friday saw the 50th anniversary of James Bond’s first cinematic outing in Dr. No. Then, at the end of the month, we’ll be seeing Sam Mendes effort with the release of Bond 23 – Skyfall. Following that there’s the anniversary of James Bond himself, when Fleming’s first Bond book Casino Royal turns 60 later next year. All-in-all, Bond-fever has hit and it’s hit hard.
All this has reminded me of these excellent paintings by the British painter James Hart Dyke. Depicting images from inside MI6, the project came about when Hart Dyke was invited by the British Secret Intelligence Service to mark their centenary (in 2009) with a series of paintings. Hart Dyke had to work under strict conditions of secrecy and was apparently extensively vetted before being selected for the project.
The resulting work is fantastic. Capturing a strange and murky world, they’re the types of images you’d hope that the life of an MI6 spy would resemble. Their blurred, washed-out aesthetic is unglamorous, unromantic and raw. There’s something mysterious in the hazy world that Hart Dyke paints and I love it. You can view the complete set of paintings online here.
All morning I’ve been listening to Dream Waters, a new track by the Merseyside pop ensemble By the Sea. It’s a beautifully simple song which starts off with a carefree ease about it before kicking into a slightly more uptempo chorus, rich with 80′s soaked dream-pop melodies and sweet hazy vocals.
The track is taken from the band’s double A-side single which also features the song Eveline. It’s the bands North American debut release and it’s currently available as a limited edition 7″ on a nice two-tone colored vinyl through Shelflife Records. The band will also be releasing their self-titled debut album on November 12th. It’s a release I’m already excited about hearing.