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The Proper Ornaments prep ‘Mission Bells’ (listen to “Black Tar”)

Photo: Jeremy Jay
Photo: Jeremy Jay

It’s only been seven months since The Proper Ornaments released 6 Lenins, and they’ve already got a new record in the can. Mission Bells, the group’s fifth album, will be out February 8 via Tapete. James Hoare, who you may also remember from Ultimate Painting and Veronica Falls, and the rest of the group wrote the album R.E.M.-style — during soundchecks of their European tour. When they got back to London, they headed to Hoare’s home analogue studio to lay down the tracks. This album’s a little different than previous Proper Ornaments albums as they’re incorporating moog sequencer and other electronics instruments into their otherwise traditional, ’60s-inspired guitar-bass-drums sound.

That primitive drum machine is the first thing you hear on “Black Tar,” a track that drifts like a lazy river on a warm summer afternoon. Guitars, keyboards and live drums are layered in, but that electronic tick-tock rhythm pulls the gentle melody, and lyrics of “sleepwalk in the day to escape your life,” through to the end. The song premieres in this post and you can listen to that, and a few snippets of other songs from the album, below.

cover The Proper Ornaments - Mission Bells

Tracklist:
1. Purple Heart
2. Downtown
3. Black Tar
4. The Wolves At The Door 5. Broken Insect
6. The Impeccable Lawns
7. Echoes
8. Flophouse Calvary
9. Strings Around Your Head
10. The Park
11. Music Of The Traffic
12. Cold
13. Tin Soldiers

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