An abbreviated glimpse into Mason Proper’s bizarre, singular universe, the aptly-titled SHORTHAND EP will be released digitally on iTunes March 25 via Dovecote Records (Ed Harcourt, Aberdeen City, Tim Williams). A four-song rush of eccentric indie rock and ambitious experimentation, the album will be coupled with a video for each song, directed by production duo Hott Garbage.
Self-produced and recorded by the band in their Ann Arbor dwelling, SHORTHAND was hashed out late last year in a matter of days. Kicking off with “Rest Up,” the album begins with a bevy of kitchen-sink type instrumentation – a bang here, a burst of guitar, the ding of a what sounds like a cash register – all carried on a dark groove while singer Jonathan Visger ruminates about Beelzebub and incriminating evidence. Flowing straight into “Bonemen,” upbeat guitars and bouncy bass lighten the mood, however, one listen to Visger’s twitchy paranoia-induced rants and it’s apparent there is much more than meets the eye. The album concludes with “Traveling Men,” a track propelled by a heavy drum beat and filled with swift starts and stops and an odd story about a wristwatch.
The visual element for Mason Proper has always been crucial to the band, evidenced by their artistic album covers and frenetic live shows. Expanding this vision, the group shot four videos in only two days with direction team Hott Garbage, focusing on simple ideas that matched the aesthetics of each song.
The follow-up to their debut full-length album, THERE IS A MOTH IN YOUR CHEST (Dovecote), SHORTHAND is just the latest in a year already jam packed with a flurry of activity. Their recent Midwest and East Coast tour included stops at Sirius Radio’s “Left of Center,” WOXY.com as well as Daytrotter.com. In March, the Michigan natives will head to Austin, Texas for SXSW for several shows. Upon their return, the band will join Cloud Cult for some gigs before heading to the studio to record their sophomore effort.
MASON PROPER ON TOUR
April 13 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Blind Pig*
April 25 – Chicago, Ill. @ Schuba’s*
April 26 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Ave.*
* with Cloud Cult