When Ultimate Painting abruptly disbanded, I wondered what would come of Jack Cooper. He’d released stuff with Mazes, as well as his own solo stuff, so we knew he’d be okay…though how okay I didn’t know…until now. His new project is titled Modern Nature, a joint venture with Will Young (Beak>, Moon Gangs). Our first listen is a majestic construction piece of slow-core, filled with layers that build upon one another as the song inches its way forward. Tickling guitar lines are aided by great cymbal work and the heavy softness of the vocals; the song moves forward and some horns and electronic flourishes begin to bubble from beneath the surface. This is absolutely gorgeous, and not at all what I would have expected, so I’m all the better for it. How to Live will be put on August 23rd via Bella Union.
Those of you still distraught over the disbanding of Ultimate Painting will be more than happy to know that The Proper Ornaments are still going, which is James’ other band (among many). They’ve got a new record titled Six Lenins, with the first single a song for John Lennon. Interestingly, it’s almost a bedroom pop hit. Sampled percussion and keys walk you into the track, working mostly with the the rise and fall of the voice; there’s some guitar work, but it’s not the dominating feature of this tune. There’s something subtle about this track, unassuming in its presentation, you’ll find it seeping into your soul like only the best tunes can. The album will drop on powerhouse label Tapete Records on April 5th.
Ever since Ultimate Painting first came onto our radar, we’ve pretty much wholeheartedly supported the band and their music endeavors. Today comes news that the group have a brand new LP ready for the world, along with a brand new single. Honestly, this might be one of my favorite tracks from the band to date, especially as they take the casual pop stylings and then slow them down even just at the 2:15 mark on the number, letting the song drift off into the world. Ever charming, UP will drop on April 6th via Bella Union. You’ve been warned.
It’s going to be a huge shame if this Jack Cooper goes overlooked, as the songs we’ve heard are really compelling…not to mention lovely. He dropped this new one today, and the opening immediately shuffles you into Cooper’s world, vocals hitting almost instantly as shakers and snare work behind careful guitar lines. Little vocal backing pieces flare up occasionally, providing a sentimental nostalgia that’s likely to make the world a better place. You’ll be able to hear Cooper’s debut solo effort Sandgrown this Friday when it’s released by Trouble In Mind.
You’re almost to the weekend, so a restful state of mind is exactly what’s needed. I’m pretty sure this calming tune from Jack Cooper (of Ultimate Painting) will set you in the right mood. This is one of those songs that just seems timeless; it’s very much in the now, but you can picture your parents and their friends loving this back in the day. I don’t think I realized until writing this just how much I loved Cooper’s voice either…its the sort that will haunt you in the best way. Look for the solo debut of Sandgrown on August 25th via Trouble in Mind.
Odds are, you’ve probably enjoyed Jack Cooper‘s songwriting in some fashion, either in Mazes or in Ultimate Painting, but he’s now stepping out to take on songwriting on his own. There’s a nostalgic sound here, which should come as no surprise if you’ve been following Ultimate Painting; he even name checks Terry Allen and Frank Sinatra in the press for this new album. Those nods are all well and good, but can he pull it off? On first listen, I think you’re answer is going to be a resounding yes! Honestly, I didn’t expect anything other than a song that sounded this good. Look for Sandgrown on August 25th via Trouble in Mind Records.
You just spent your whole week hanging with your family, so now you wanna go hang out with your friends, right? Well, the best way is to catch an incredible show, and boy is there a great one at Barracuda tonight. First, Ultimate Painting are headlining, and the band’s gotten tons of praise all across the pond, especially for their great new LP, Dusk. Plus, EZTV will be there too; the band’s been described as one of the best in NYC, and you’ll likely see their latest High in Place LP on my year end list. Local powerhouse Flesh Lights, as well as Ruby Fray, will kick the night off, so be there or be real square. Tickets are super cheap for a rad show ($7) and can be found HERE.
With the success of Ultimate Painting and Toy, it would seem natural that folks would clamor to hear music from The Proper Ornaments, a band made of bits and pieces from the above acts. Yet the band seems indifferent to accolades and buzz, just trucking along with really incredible bits of songwriting and pop sensibility. I like the texturing working beneath the rad sounds of the guitar; they’re either using a cabasa shaker or a rain stick, but it fits into the track seamlessly. It’s hard not to be impressed by songs before you, so if you’re into that buzz, then be sure to look for Foxhole on January 20th via Slumberland Records.
Ultimate Paintings Dusk, their third album in the past three years, is a quiet bedroom indie rock album with influences ranging from Neu to Yo La Tengo to Donovan. Although the similarities in sound are there, the effort is lacking. Read more
I don’t think I’ve met a single person who doesn’t enjoy listening to Ultimate Painting, but maybe I’ve just got really really cool friends. Regardless, a day when the band unleashes a new tune is never a bad one, so we’ve got that to celebrate, along with the announcement of the group’s 3rd LP, Dusk. On this track, the band hits you with their well-branded casual rock, steady in almost every move they make. Personally, there’s the slightest vocal inflection that raises just above the vocal counterpart during the chorus of “they’re chewing me up” that seals the deal for me. It seems so simple, yet executed so well…the kind you can only expect from a band on Trouble in Mind Records, who will release the album on September 30th.