Ducktails LIVE @ The Borderline 22.08.13

Whilst having released their first album back in 2009, Ducktails, the psychedelic indie pop quartet from New Jersey are still relatively unknown within the UK music scene. As surprising as this is, the reward for being in the know is the opportunity to experience them perform in an intimate venue like The Borderline.

Ducktails took to the stage with all the pomp and circumstance of a high-school band nervously playing their first gig in the auditorium at their summer fete, the harsh lighting of The Borderline doing their James May-esque haircuts little favour.

Any thought of the meekness of their appearances quickly disappeared when they opened with Ivy Covered House, the debut from their most recent release The Flower Lane. With impeccable attention to the audio mix (and an impressively tight playing style), the transfer of their idyllic, pastoral indie-pop from record to stage could not be faulted, even down to the perfectly pitched delay on Matthew Mondanile’s singing.

All crowd-pleasers were present and played, with the majority of The Flower Lane making it to the set list.

This was never going to be the loudest, most rockin’ gig ever played, but the surprise introduction of 3 or 4 new tracks (no names given) into the mix brought a slightly edgier, slightly more brooding sensibility to the last third of proceedings. Normal service resumed by the end of the set, however.

Essentially, this was everything you’d expect from a Ducktails gig: Simple, unpretentious, beautifully sharp summer melody overlaid with ethereal, smiling vocals.

Emma Jones