Reviews

Album Review: The Proper Ornaments Shine Light Unto Life’s “Foxhole”

One of the weirdest, hardest, and best pieces of advice I have ever received from another human being was, “Sometimes, you need to go slow”. It is weird and hard to heed such counsel because you presume the fastest route is the best one. Moreover, patience is not exactly promoted in our current world. Yet, hearing The Proper Ornaments Foxhole reminds you that calming down is the best way to achieve results.

Offering 1960’s pop, The Proper Ornaments newest LP feels like the light, breezed drizzle you get on a foggy day. Most people may not like foggy days, to which they might presume I mean that as a negative, but I actually enjoy a cloudy afternoon where you look out the windows and see hues of grey and white blend; such is the dynamic of Foxhole in lyrics and instrumentals. Grey synths blend with light drumming and riffing, to give you a cloudy overcast that displays the beauty of knowing the sun is still up even if you cannot see it. That sun, like in most music, is love, but it is not just the relationship kind. In song’s like “Bridge By A Tunnel”, “Jeremy’s Song”, and “Memories”, love comes in the form of your life and how you are present in it for both yourself and others. For The Proper Ornaments’ love is not just about break-ups and beginnings as it is in many songs. Love is a constant standard that you try to feel in everything you do so that joy can come forward, as well. Through a slow, gentle pacing, Foxhole is indie-pop that shows that sweet/sugary music is best in doses not rushes.

Each track of Foxhole flows into the other with similar themes of trying to find connection and gratefulness towards both your existence and how it is manifesting. For this, the band uses wavy guitar melodies that descend upon your ears and lyrics like rain, which is perfect considering that Max Oscarnold has a conversational tone. He sings with an effortless, lower register that is also emblematic of rain, which is when we, usually, stay in to think and absorb out time. After all, water is a very clearing element, and having vocals and instrumentals that represent as such cause Foxhole to have the same. The irony is foxholes are usually associated with confinement, but, sometimes you need to be held in place to figure out your next move. As I said previously, slowness or stillness are not favored as speeds for this quick world, but, if you keep on making moves without reflection, you find yourself just moving without a sense of whether you are right. The irony is that Foxhole’s more peaceful sound and words comes from this similar sentiment. After a mechanical blowout wasted weeks of their time and money, when The Proper Ornaments returned to record, their forced break has birthed within them a natural gentility that they wished to place into music. Hence, Foxhole is, sonically, born from a cool epiphany to take it easy.
There is nothing like losing time and money to test your patience, but it is in those moments of material loss that we can find within ourselves a spiritual serenity that leads to the chill lyrics/ arrangements that you will find in songs like, “The Frozen Stare” and “I Know You Know”. The Proper Ornaments create tracks with both a casual and simple honesty because you do not need big, elaborate words or many sentences to make you serene. All you need is a catchy hook to give you energy, of which Foxhole has plenty. Moreover, I must reiterate how splendid and soothing their guitar melodies are on this record. You honestly believe you have bought an mediation album where sounds of waves tussling help to lull you into relaxation. For More Information On The Proper Ornaments Click Here.