Mason Proper is an American rock band formed in Alpena, Michigan in 2004. The band consists of singer Jonathan Visger, keyboardist Matt Thompson, bassist Zac Fineberg, guitarist Brian Konicek and drummer Garrett Jones.
2006 saw the group focus on promoting the debut album, touring across the country and recording sessions such as their WOXY.com Lounge Act in May. In September, the band signed with New York-based Dovecote Records, and the self-released version of their debut immediately went out of print. The band released a re-mixed, re-mastered, and in parts re-recorded version of "There Is A Moth In Your Chest in 2007 for Dovecote.
The band toured through most of 2007 in support of "Moth," afterwards releasing a four-song EP of new material entitled "Shorthand. " The band continued to produce the recordings at home. The EP was released only on iTunes and included a music video for each song.
To begin work on their second album, the band met with producer/engineer Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blonde Redhead) for a preproduction session in April 2008. At this session, the band listened through approximately 30 songs Jonathan had written, and together with Chris selected 11 songs to refine.
They rented a vacant house and the band recorded and produced what would become Olly Oxen Free. Immediately after, Jonathan flew to Carriage House Studios in Connecticut to meet up with Chris and mix the album in an 11-day marathon session. Due to mixing time constraints, they made the decision to drop "The Cure (I Don't Want It)" from the album, which was later completed but never released.
Olly Oxen Free was released on September 23, 2008 on Dovecote Records. To promote the album, the band played a show at local Ann Arbor venue The Blind Pig, along with another popular local band, The Novel Citizen.