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As the UK basks in the hot, sticky satisfaction of a heatwave, for a few days at least, life seems to drop a down a few clicks on the speedometer. Long evenings of cold beer and barbecues may seem like the stuff of myth in a British summer, but occasionally it does actually happen. Times like these, given their rarity, deserve their own soundtrack; something that complements the laid-back lifestyle that real sun brings. Matt Mondanile is a man who knows how to tap into these moments and find a musical accompaniment (although there is more opportunity for practice, living in LA). Both of his two bands, Real Estate and Ducktails, revel in glorious summer sun, each taking life at one slow, satisfied, retrospective step at a time. St. Catherine is Ducktails' fifth take on this classic '60s-indebted sound, and does so with both the benefit of experience and the confidence to mess with the formula, albeit only slightly.

As is often the case with such a well-defined and established sound, the deviations from the norm aren't particularly overt, but they are definitely there. St. Catherine feels more finely honed than previous Ducktails records, its agenda clearer. This is owed in part to Elliot Smith-producer Rob Schnaff, who brings a crispness to the record where previous albums have always plodded along in a stoned kind of haze. Lead single 'Headbanging in the Mirror' is one of the best songs Ducktails have ever written as a result; a 3-and-a-half minute gem of laid back, simply-formulated summer pop. The same can be said of the album's title track which, in addition to being the strongest indication of Mondanile's Real Estate history, is one of the record's best moments thanks to a glorious woozy guitar line.

One thing that certainly hasn't changed, however, is the sense of rose-tinted retrospection that saturates everything Mondanile seems to lay his hands on. There is something about those warm guitar grooves that lends itself to reminiscence of long summer days gone by - a sort of audible Instagram filter. St. Catherine exudes this aesthetic with a sepia innocence, longing for a time when life was simple and all you had to worry about was if there were enough cold beers in the fridge. While this sound is by no means new or challenging, it is a lasting one, ensuring that Mondanile's work is always relevant (especially when the clouds disappear).

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