Album of the Day: The Proper Ornaments EP

Every day for the rest of December I’ll be recommending some music for your ears – or maybe it could serve as something of a Christmas gift guide. It’ll be a mix of classic albums, neglected gems and new bits of gorgeousness.

Today, we have The Proper Ornaments’ eponymous 2011 EP, a glorious five tracks of swooning lyrics and jangling melodies.

The above song, ‘Shining Bright’ first came to my attention thanks to the ever-watchful BBC Radio 6Music DJs. It’s a delight, and the rest of the EP certainly lives up to the high standard it sets.

Opener ‘Who Thought’ is a two minute mixture of dreamy, semi-audible lyrics (“thought I would be your [life?] … thought I would do things right”) and nifty guitar work, while ‘Riverboat’ manages to be simultaneously mopey and hopeful. ‘You Still’ and ‘Drop Off’ feature, respectively, shuffling drum beats and lyrics which may or may not be about standing around waiting for some drugs to be delivered.

I’ve seen The Proper Ornaments tagged under ‘psychedelic’, which would normally put me off fairly quickly, but the joy of these tracks is their snappiness. You can imagine the jangling guitars and almost chanted lyrics going on – and on, and on, and on – but, in fact, the longest song on the EP clocks in at a not-so-impressive 3:23. This is a wise decision: their brevity gives something unique to what could be a slightly dated style. The songs are hardly the short, razor-sharp slices of indie rock you expect to get in that timeframe, nor are they psychedelic rambles – they’re delicate and beautiful.

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