dovecote records

Mason Proper – Olly Oxen Free

by oz on August 27, 2008

For the past week and a half, my days have started off the same way. Wake up early, eat a high fiber breakfast, go to the office, pour a big cup of coffee, and then hit play on Mason Proper’s sophomore album Olly Oxen Free. I won’t tell you what happens around 10am.

I admit that I completely overlooked their 2007 debut album, There Is a Moth In Your Chest. As I listen to Olly Oxen Free, it’s as if this band from Michigan is working hard to make me regret it. And I am. The album opens with the best trifecta of songs I’ve heard on any album in 2008. “Fog” is a song that lingers in the shadows as it opens with the lines “My horoscope said pack your bags” then you hear what sounds like a gunshot, followed by the lines “Made a hole in my head and forgot why I did.”

Not exactly what I was expecting from a pop album.

After that, “Point A To Point B” lightens the mood with some jangly guitars before “Lock and Key” closes out the hat trick and will have you singing “caught every lightning bug out in the yard” in your sleep. You’ll understand when you hear the verse. I’m just thankful the band and the label decided to allow us to offer up “Lock and Key” as a free download so we can all be infected together.

To be honest, I’ve kind of been stuck at the front end of the album and am still digging through the second half, but I know “Downpour” will be another highlight. Olly Oxen Free will be released on Dovecote Records on September 23rd.

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Mason Proper – Lock and Key

You can also hear “Only For A Moment” and “Safe for the Time Being” at Daytrotter.