Whim: Ducktails & Levek Bring The Indie Rock Relaxation

Whim is a collection of media focused on rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Mellowing things out with recent Domino signee Ducktails and the unpredictably satisfying Levek.

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Ducktails

It’s still early, but you can now hear a teaser track from Ducktails’ The Flower Lane, which comes out January 29th, 2013 via the band’s new label, Domino Records. Frontman and main man Matt Mondanile has taken the downtime from his involvement with lo-fi rockers Real Estate to mix a new record with Al Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never). And as is often the case with Ducktails’ music, it may take repeat listens before “The Flower Lane” makes a lasting impression, but rest assured that there is emotional comfort to be found in these familiar easy-going sounds, and “The Flower Lane” is but one mellow indicator of the record’s lusher and more robust sound.

Catch a review of Mondanile’s formerly more lo-fi sounds via our review of Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics.

DUCKTAILS – THE FLOWER LANE TRACKLISTING
1. Ivy Covered House
2. The Flower Lane
3. Under Cover
4. Timothy Shy
5. Planet Phrom
6. Assistant Director
7. Sedan Magic
8. International Date Line
9. Letter Of Intent
10. Academy Avenue

 

 

Levek

Levek’s nearly monochrome music video for “Black Mold Grow” was directed by Buffalo’s Michael Lawrence in conjunction with David Levesque from Levek. Says Lawrence of conceptualizing the project: “Similar images kept on coming into both of our heads – a gauzy, transcendental view on a young woman’s struggle with her psyche. Creating the film was an organic process — everything from the original script to the end product was guided by the nature surrounding us. The locations and environments added a large scope to the film – but, more than anything, created a backdrop for a character-driven story to unfold in a spontaneous, genuine way.”

“Black Mold Grow” is a relatively straight-forward track with ’60s psych rock influences, comfortable basslines, and adorable jazziness. On their album Look A Little Closer, out on Lefse Records, the band’s sensibilities are actually far more experimental than one might think from this single. Straightforward psych rock is certainly present, but so are sexy jazz ambiances, folky guitar-driven pieces, and funkier vocoder-driven tracks. “French Lessons”, which can be found below the music video for “Black Mold Grows”, is a total standout.

Writer/Director: Michael Lawrence
DoP: David Kruta & Michael Lawrence
Editor: Alex Amoling
Camera Operator: Kiel Milligan
DIT: Sam Gursky
Sound Design: Jeff Melanson
Additional Music: Tristan E. Whitehill
Title Illustrations: David Levesque
Costumes/Styling: Kelly Thomas
Producers: Max Collins & Michael Lawrence
Post Production: Replicant
Camera Rentals Courtesy of The Astronomy Club
Starring Kelly Thomas, with Sarah Geraci, Whitney, and Sean O’Connor

LEVEK – LOOK A LITTLE CLOSER TRACKLISTING
1. Black Mold Grow
2. Canterbury Bell
3. Terra Treasures
4. With A Slow Burn
5. Muscat Mingle
6. St. Francis
7. Can’t Buy This Love
8. Girl In The Fog
9. Solemn Feeling Forever Healing
10. French Lessons

 

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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