Ultimate Painting’s first LP, a self-titled heterogeneous collection of The Byrds meets VU era Velvet Underground nuggets, saw James Hoare and Jack Cooper trading songs. While Ultimate Painting provided insight into the band’s love of gentle guitars and poetic musings, their sophomore record, Green Lanes, saw the duo’s grip on individual craftsmanship loosening up. Like their debut, Dusk, the band’s upcoming full-length for Trouble in Mind, features ten songs, though this time the songwriting continues in the vein of Green Lanes’ team effort, waxing even more symbiotic.
On “Bills,” album opener and first single, the band takes a motorik turn, rooting itself in a plodding bassline, while still maintaining its trademark lithe guitar and gracefully harmonized vocals. It’s a song that couldn’t be written by anyone other than Ultimate Painting, taking everything they does well and cranking it up to ten. Long-time fans will find the duo’s calmly psychedelic world shimmering more vibrantly than ever and new ears will wonder how such mesmeric songwriting escaped them until now. It’s beautiful. It’s groovy. And, for my money, it’s their best song, though that could change after hearing the other tracks on Dusk.
Dusk is out October 19 on Trouble in Mind.