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Mason Proper

Who? Mason Proper (Jonathan Visgr, Matt Thomson, Brian Konicek, Zac Fineberg and Jesse Parsons) is a rock outfit hell-bent on experimentation. And it’s not just in their sound, either — defying the norm, the band abandoned the usual Michigan hangout (Detroit) for a more unconventional destination (Ypsilanti). It’s from this northerly perch that they crafted There’s a Moth in Your Chest, out now on the indie imprint Dovecote.

What’s the Deal? This version of Moth is actually the second; an earlier, self-released effort exists — there are about 900 copies floating around. After signing to Dovecote, the band headed back into the studio with John O’Mahoney (Matt Pond PA, Emily Haines) for a remix and redo. The result runs the gamut from atmospheric and moody electronic rock (“Chemical Dress Eliza”) to danceable, flashy pop (“100 Years”). It’s a story arc worthy of one of the band’s influences, Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll: you sit under a tree in the garden, fall down a rabbit hole, eat some strange cakes, and wake up back where you started. This weird, energetic journey is defined by “Mr. Charm,” a gear-grinding pivot point to an album that’ll keep you guessing from start to finish.

Fun Fact: A little digging on Mason Proper’s website produces a video of Moth track “Life’s Cornucopia” synced to the opening credits of the 1965 film To Kill a Mockingbird. Finally, some competition for that Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz mash-up. KAITLIN FONTANA

Now Hear This: Mason Proper – “My My (Bad Fruit)” DOWNLOAD MP3

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Talk: Would you play A Moth in Your Chest at your next mad tea party?