Friday, 10 February 2017

THE PROPER ORNAMENTS : Foxhole



Possessed of an infectious gentility matched with a complex vulnerability, The Proper Ornaments have a sweet way of crawling into that secret diary of your head, talking to you, with you, for you.
There are two layers to them, they are unfailingly melodic, which makes them absorbing enough but they also have a deeper side to them : they are disarmingly sincere and elegiac. Elegantly mantled in hushed atmosphere, Foxhole is the kind of record which arouses reflection, conjures up  flashbacks and makes endearing company whilst reminiscing.
This is what intelligent music is about, it can be equally thought-provoking and pleasurable. Recorded on an eight-track,  this second record is more ethereal and contemplative than their debut album Wooden Head, it sounds more polished and mature, with more attention to detail,  while retaining another kind of crucial chemistry, despite its mellowness. Their guitars are beguiling and the album incorporates euphonious vocals,  the whole effort conveying a distinct and pristine poise, in the regal tradition of English pop songwriting. “Jeremy’s song” is a striking example, it catches you surreptitiously, sinks in and, topped with delicious guitars,  takes possession of your heart.
The Ornaments connect with the listener by articulating perplexing emotions into simple phrases and velvet melodies and making them relatable. The late Elliott Smith had the same modus operandi, crafting tunes that remind you of specific places and moments and comfort you or fill a void if need be.  The album closer “The Devils” forms a momentous hymn that is a flawless heart-warmer and lingers long in your memory.
Let this record be the soundtrack of your winter, a sonic delight wrapped in sapid layers of melancholy, a clever and sensible antidote to a neverending winter.





Foxhole was released on Tough Love Records on January, 20th.

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