Monday, January 16, 2017

The Proper Ornaments - Foxhole

We first became familiar with singer, songwriter and guitarist James Hoare via Veronica Falls.  Although that band appears to be dormant, Hoare has continued to create music in Ultimate Painting, assisting Peter Astor, and today's subject, The Proper Ornaments.  In The Proper Ornaments Hoare teams up with Max Oscarnold (also known as Max Claps) of Toy and Pink Flames.  After a couple of early, limited distribution releases, they dropped their first LP in 2014, the well received Wooden Head.  A bit over two years later we have the pleasure of addressing the follow-up, Foxhole.

In certain respects, the new album echoes its predecessor.  The songs are mid-tempo, with sunny melodies walking the line between psychedelic pop, Syd Barrett, and The Velvet Underground.  The vocals gently voice moody lyrics, creating an atmosphere that can be dark, but not ominous.  However, Foxhole is not WoodenHead.20.  The guitar sounds lines are simpler and clearer, with less distortion, and the arrangements benefit from the addition of pianos.  And while there was an element of chaos in and behind Wooden Head, Foxhole emanates calm and a certain contentment nestled in the gentle hooks.  And we could all use a bit of calm and contentment these days.

In addition to Hoare and Oscarnold, The Proper Ornaments for Foxhole include Daniel Nellis on bass and Bobby Syme on drums.  The album is out on Friday, January 20, via Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records.

Slumberland Records
Tough Love Records

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