The Proper Ornaments - Waiting For The Summer
London band The Proper Ornaments (Max Claps and buddy James Hoare, guitarist/vocalist of Music Fix favourites Veronica Falls) bring us their shimmering debut Waiting For The Summer. While not a huge departure from Hoare's day job, still trading in slightly off-key harmonies and minimalist arrangements, The Proper Ornaments borrow heavily from the stripped-back feel of The Velvet Underground and the dreamy soft-focus allure of Jesus and Mary Chain.
The title track, followed by the lovely 'Are You Going Blind?', float in like a blurry polaroid, yet the sleepy spell soon breaks with the jingly-jangly 'Who Thought', voices intertwining above a guitar riff worthy of Peter Buck himself. 'Drop Off' and the wonderfully edgy 'Recalling' also work well: beautiful harmonies following a synthesiser beat and insistent drum and bass line. Other highlights are the sparkling 'Shining Bright' and creepy 'Riverboat' with its sinister guitar line snaking its way through the song which then ends in a wall of feedback as the guitar continues nonchalantly on.
Overall the album has a hazy feel, like that blurred vision you get from staring at the sun too long and as such, Waiting For The Summer is a beautiful, fitting soundtrack to the sinking feeling that always comes at the start of September. "Those days are gone," Hoare sings at the end of 'Nervous Breakdown'. Summer is over, winter is coming - so let's try to remember those halcyon days while we can.