Mason Proper to release There Is A Moth In Your Chest
In a musical landscape that's more defined by geography and its accompanying aesthetics, Mason Proper are undoubtedly black sheep. While Detroit's renown is undeniable and connotatively defiant and eccentric, the area of Northern Michigan where more than half the band is from resembles a vast, frigid expanse of rural America. The groups' shrill layers of barren, beautiful white sonic indulgences might give you some idea of the home territory, but their compulsively unhinged backbeat, ecstatic guitars, and beautifully charming and surprising pop arrangements recall a more blissful and sharp disposition.
Artist: Mason Proper
Title: There Is A Moth In Your Chest
Release date: 03/13/07
Buy at: Amazon
Jonathan Visgr (vocalsguitars/keys,) Matt Thomson (keys/noise/vocals/guitars,) and Brian Konicek (guitars) all grew up in Northern Michigan towns, about an hour south of the Upper Peninsula. “If you're looking at the palm of your right hand, we're where the first crease of your pointer finger is,” says Thomson. They began playing in musical groups together as youths, eventually forming what became Mason Proper in their late teens and early twenties. After moving from their wooden hometowns to Ypsilanti, a suburb of Detroit and Ann Arbor, the group met Zac Fineberg (bass/vocals) who eventually left his own group to join the band. After two years of writing and recording parts of what would become their debut LP There Is A Moth In Your Chest , the band split back to the woods, finding new drummer Jesse Parsons along the way. The group finished recording and pressed up the record, all by themselves, without the assistance of a label.
The songs on Moth are equal parts youthful magical realism and keen-eyed quirk, but the whole is more cohesive and round than a wistful collage of dreamy pop songs. Noise and arrangement scuffle in heavy-handed alleyways of sound, somehow always ending conjoined in feverous elation. This pastiche of noise and energy likely comes from the utilitarian and collaborative writing process, which Thomson likens to an “assembly line.” Every member contributes equal parts and ideas. Often nothing more than a small fragment of a song is brought in, after which the band collectively flesh it out until completion. Thomson notes, “I'd say that the foundation of our work together comes from how comfortable we are in our respective roles.” Among the songs on Moth are incisive guitar ditties (“My My (Bad Fruit)”) shimmering and quick pop explorations (“A Chance Encounter,” “100 Years,”) and self-conscious electro-lullabies (“Life's Cornucopia.”) The album's greatest strength, though, is its winding passages and swift stops and turns, the likes of which are hardly explicated with mere words.
On a trip to play shows in New York, the wide-eyed men in Mason Proper became acquainted with indie Dovecote Records. After what Thompson laughs was a “devlish smile,” the group was on the label and heading back to New York later in the year to re-mix and slightly re-work Moth with John O'Mahoney (Metric, Matt Pond PA.) What surfaced is a more gutsy, three-dimensional version of the album that warms the songs and exposes the group's impressive dynamics. For now, the Mason Proper reside in a formerly abandoned house back in the woods of Northern Michigan, which, for them, sounds like an optimal locale to write and record their music. But with the release of Moth on March 6 th via Dovecote and the impending touring to follow, these boys will have much more geographic experience to draw from for the new material, and that seems to suit them just fine.
There Is A Moth In Your Chest Tracklisting
1. Chance Encounter
2. Miss Marylou Carreau
3. 100 Yrs.
5. World Is Smaller Than You Think
6. Mr. Charm
7. I Spy
8. Lights Off
9. Life's Cornucopia
10. Chemical Dress Eliza
11. My My (Bad Fruit)
12. Carousel! Carousel!
13. Blue Lips Enternal Inquiry
"There Is A Moth In Your Chest" by Mason Proper - release date: 03/13/07..