Posts Tagged ‘Dusk’


The London band Ultimate Painting were set to release a follow up to 2016’s well-received album “Dusk” via Bella Union but the band split up  the album was cancelled the release of new the record which was entitled Up! may never see the light of day.

“I’m very sad to announce that Ultimate Painting are no longer a band,” the band wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Anyone who has worked with us knows that the partnership at the core of this band has always been a very fragile thing, but due to an irreconcilable breakdown we will no longer be working with each other.

“Obviously if there’s no band, then it’s understandably not really in Bella Union’s interests to put out the previously announced album, therefore I’ve asked them not to release ‘Up!’ at this point in time, which they have agreed to. Thanks to everyone who bought our records and supported us. You know who you are.”

The news also results in a cancellation of tour dates that had previously been announced. Looking back, words from the band’s Jack Cooper last month signalled some disharmony: “If it ends tomorrow,” Cooper said in a press statement previously, “I’d feel really good about the work we’ve done together.

“There’s a cohesion to it but most of all they’re records that we made of music that we wanted to hear. We don’t really have an agenda other than that.”

Jack Cooper & James Hoare formed Ultimate Painting. The two had a fast friendship when Jack’s band Mazes were on tour supporting James’ band Veronica Falls, sharing similar tastes in music, art & films. It wasn’t until after returning home that a musical synergy was formed. After numerous demos were exchanged, a few casual jam sessions turned into something more; a partnership. Christening themselves after a piece of art by the Southern Colorado desert community “Drop City Collective”, the lads set to work recording their debut proper.

For the entirety of Ultimate Painting’s now tragically short run, the duo of James Hoare and Jack Cooper were routinely described within the context of their previous bands. Even in posts announcing their abrupt breakup this week, it was still “James Hoare of Veronica Falls” and “Jack Cooper of Mazes”—as if this were the side project, instead of the other way around. As if this was the band that wasn’t meant to be taken as seriously.

Ultimate Painting have been so productive, releasing one solid album every year since forming in 2014, their discography—2014’s “Ultimate Painting”, 2015’s “Green Lanes”,and 2016 “Dusk”, the wonderfully out-of-time third album by this East London’s band, and  then this year’s suddenly doomed “Up!”—represents one of the strongest four-album outputs of a rock group this side of The Velvet Underground. There isn’t a bad track in the bunch, and many of them, unassuming and glacial, are patently stunning. For my money, anyway, “Monday Morning, Somewhere Central” is among the top songs of the decade From their album “Dusk”, out now via Trouble In Mind Records

So what happened,  The new album was in the can, a UK tour was booked, a bio was written, advance promos were sent out. And then just like that, it was scrapped. Due to the usual irreconcilable breakdown,not only has the band broken up, but Up!’s release was completely cancelled as well. (Bella Union, the label set to release it, has confirmed Unfortunately, this doesn’t feel like one of those LCD Soundsystem “let’s make sure we go out with a bang breakups.

For now all we can do is take them at their word that it’s over simply because they can’t work together anymore.  Either way, though, this leaves us as listeners in the precarious spot of having to carry on their legacy retroactively—but that really shouldn’t be a problem, given what’s being left behind.

Looking at it as a whole, Ultimate Painting’s music has that rare quality of being universally appropriate.

Cooper and Hoare worked off of each other so tightly and so subtly, that their interplay often leads you to wonder who’s even taking the lead on any given song. This blending might come off as a boring  and monotonous in lesser hands, but it’s a testament to their strength of their songwriting that Ultimate Painting manage to keep the vibe simultaneously light, wavy and catchy as the best paisley meditations in time and space.

Guitar lines and vocal parts intermix freely throughout, and part of the charm comes from listening to the unified sound of a true duo; on any given track, it’s truly hard to tell which member is playing/singing what—and despite this, it’s all definitively UP. Both members put out albums separately from each other in the past year—Hoare with The Proper Ornaments and Cooper with his recent solo album “Sandgrown” in August of last year and while the projects were both inspired, they felt like they were missing something. It might have been each other.

But in the interest of the band not being forgotten, it’s all but criminal to withhold the release of Up! altogether, whether digitally, physically, or both. To prevent the last recording “Up” from release is frankly bizarre, as well as a tremendous disservice to those who would enjoy it. I can only hope that someone at Bella Union is looking for the fine print in the band’s contract that allows the label to press the record regardless.

Going back to the beginning, much of Ultimate Painting’s music starts abruptly. No count-in, no riff—just straight into the vocals of the verse. It’s a tough trick to pull off, but for songwriters with a gentle touch it’s a wonderful tool to make an otherwise quiet song feel loud and direct. It also makes the song feel like it’s perpetually being performed in the present tense. That’s going to be a big asset going forward now that this catalog has to fight for itself, without press cycles, without touring, without members that even seem to believe in it themselves. Ultimate Painting have gone out with an exclamation mark.

After the autumnal melancholia of 2016’s Dusk, the title of Ultimate Painting’s fourth album suggests a band leaving the past behind and ascending to another level, and to a certain extent that is the story of this record. Now signed to Bella Union, the record is a supremely confident and, at times, a radiant example of their song-writing ability but it also masks a more turbulent story. There were plenty of times when the question was not what it would sound like but would it even exist.

By the end of 2016, Jack Cooper and James Hoare – the band’s two equal but contrasting songwriters – were burned out and unsure of their next move. Releasing three albums in three years had taken its toll and they decided to take some time out to consider their next move. A good idea in theory but as it transpired a bad one in practice, as they immediately started to second-guess what to do next. “We both initially had the idea that we wanted to make a record that had more of an electronic element,” explains James. “We thought we’d try to go slightly more in that direction. Drum machines, synths and so on.” Jack adds: “We started to question what people wanted from us and in the process, I think we briefly lost the idea of what the band was.”

The confused sessions around this time – all of which occurred in the band’s own recording studio in North London – were further hamstrung by Hoare’s ongoing issues with depression. Eventually, an enforced halt was called due to live commitments in the US and it was while they were there, sat on a bench one morning in rural Pennsylvania, that the decision was made to scrap everything. It felt liberating…

Back in the UK in summer 2017, they immediately started over and with rediscovered confidence and momentum recorded a whole new album in just two weeks. The results convey something of that effortless spark as well as a reconnection with the bands’ innate Englishness.

This isn’t the midnight-black interior world of the third Velvets’ album (to which they’ve so often been compared); it’s a record that stretches out in different directions. One minute – on Foul & Fair – drawing from the 60s Brit-folk tradition of Fairport Convention, the next on – I Am Your Gun – channelling the luminous fairground psyche of the Pretty Things or Syd Barrett. It’s also the sound of a band obsessively honing their sound. They joke that it’s the most “Ultimate Paintingy” record they’ve ever made too.

When it was all finally done, though, they both realised all their tough decisions had been vindicated. Their best record to date, albeit the one that caused the most pain and indecision – they hope it will continue their steady ascent. Jack comments: “If it ends tomorrow, I’d feel really good about the work we’ve done together. There’s a cohesion to it but most of all they’re records that we made of music that we wanted to hear. We don’t really have an agenda other than that.”

Up! was to be released 6th April via Bella Union Reords.

thanks FloodMagazine

DUSK – ” Dusk “

Posted: October 30, 2018 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

The Wisconsin based Dusk’s self-titled full-length debut is nothing short of spectacular, a record that combines folk and country music with a slacker pop drawl and a dusty nuance of Americana storytelling. It sounds modern with a call-back to the easy going days of folk music’s roots, a collection of songs that would sound as great being sung around a campfire as they do on your headphones walking through a crowded city. Dusk can transport you from where you are to where you wish you were; the open air, endless freedom, and thick harmonies of a better life. Traveling from red barns to monster trucks, bolo ties to bald eagles, this one plays up their surroundings with gorgeous images and the band’s slow-dripped twang in impeccably lackadaisical form


Band Members
Julia Blair
Ryley Crowe
Tyler Ditter
Amos Pitsch
Colin Wilde


New York City’s live music archivist site NYC Taper have posted the third recording that they’ve made of Ultimate Painting over the last two years, this time at our Music Hall Of Williamsburg show a couple of months ago. This is really great quality and as ever, we appreciate the care that goes into these recordings. Thanks Acidjack and NYC Taper.

Just look at their crowds on their tour opening for the Brooklyn band Woods and you can tell Ultimate Painting are on the way up. The young band is already two albums in, with new material still coming, and they’ve mastered a capable and engaging live show to go with it. For their slot at Music Hall Of Williamsburg, the band decided to roll out a few new tunes to go with regulars from their self-titled debut and last year’s Green Lanes, including the the band’s eponymous tune and their widely-beloved “Rolling In the Deep End.” The band’s low-key, 60s psych-influenced approach has found an audience not just because of nostalgia, but because of the band’s ability to craft good songs that mine that territory, the sort of numbers that you remember after hearing them only once. True to the spirit of the Velvet Underground  one of several flattering comparisons the band has enjoyed — they don’t let even their shorter performances end without some music exploration, and “Ten Street” has become that for them, with guitarist James Hoare (ex-Veronica Falls) in particular enjoying the chance to stretch his wings. Expect to see Ultimate Painting around for quite a while.


01 Ultimate Painting
02 Rolling In the Deep End
03 [unknown]
04 [unknown2]
05 Break the Chain
06 Central Park Blues
07 Sweet Chris
08 Ten Street

Ultimate Painting, who are currently touring North America in support of their album Dusk, have shared the video for ‘Monday Morning, Somewhere Central’, their latest single.

The video features bands members Jack Cooper and James Hoare traipsing about their hometown of London, mirroring the song’s lyrics but two never quite connect throughout the course of the video.

On the video, Cooper comments, “It’s a song about fading friendships and trying to look back on them optimistically.

“The vast majority of relationships we form with people eventually dwindle, but I’ve never really looked on that as being particularly sad. It may seem nihilistic or cold but I’ve found looking back on friendships and thinking about the good parts makes the ebb and flow of life a little easier.


Drop City created wildly psychedelic paintings on acrylic, one of which, ‘Ultimate Painting’, inspired the London duo of James Hoare and Jack Cooper. It’s telling that “Lead The Way”, from Ultimate Painting’s third album, Dusk, features the lyric, ‘turn your back on society’ – they seem driven by a similar impulse to reduce and simplify. Both Cooper and Hoare have prior form in indie groups: the former with Mazes, and the latter with Proper Ornaments and Veronica Falls. If some of those groups access the creative energy of the ’60s through the refracting prism of ’60s independent music, Ultimate Painting return to the source direct, but they avoid the slavish copyism of any number of romanticising nostalgia acts, from Mod revivalists to limp psych-rockers, by tightening the focus, sketching the mise-en-scène with just the bare necessities.

Initial listens to Dusk, the duo’s third album, are similar to encounters with their other two (the self-titled 2014 debut, and last year’s Green Lanes); first impressions, of a muted slightness, give way to increasing wonder at the evocative qualities of the songs’ mindful minimalism. It’s uncluttered, spare, and open, and the production and arrangement has the feel of a group breathing together in the same room, capturing the recording space’s acoustic qualities, and playing only the essential notes, the better to let the room sing in tandem with the interactions between buzzing strings and humming valve amplifiers.

It kicks off with deceptive diffidence  “Bills” comes across, at first, like a paper-cut version of the crystalline excellence of Television’s third, oft-underrated comeback album from 1992; it’s a nudge away from the latter’s “1880 Or So”. But it soon blossoms, finding its own community of sound, and quietly ascending into a mantric chorus, as a huffing organ buzzes out the back of the studio. The guitar playing is particularly seductive – one guitar trebly and warbled by tremolo, the other lightly distorted but still pin-sharp, their relationship is one of mutual fascination, tiptoeing around each other and respectfully finding ways to weave around each other’s tonal spectrum. The jangling charm of the following “Song For Brian Jones” hymns the titular character via guitars that toll in consort with the gentle psych-folk of The Byrds circa Fifth Dimension; “Lead The Day”’s chiming piano positions the gracefully understated melody on an early solo McCartney album.

Cooper and Hoare have no qualms about drawing from some of pop and rock’s most distinguished as Cooper once said, “We accepted the fact that we’re influenced by the biggest bands that have ever been, because a lot of them are really good.” That kind of comfort with the canon is writ across Dusk, but it also risks games of spot-the-reference: it’d be pretty easy to draw a Venn diagram of, say, the gentler climes of psychedelic pop from the ’60s, the click and fizz of the quieter end of ’70s power-pop, and the pastoral lilt of the Flying Nun label in the ’80s, and locate Ultimate Painting at their intersection.

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Despite being in other bands this duo don’t take much time to relax. Dusk is the 3rd album in not long over a couple of years from Ultimate Painting and their craft continues to captivate. This time around the record feels somewhat more restrained than the previous two, not that the previous two were unrestrained by any means. Ultimate Painting create wonderfully subtle songs, two guitars filling the sound as though they’re just playing instinctively, one always knows what the other is going to do next. On the surface they’re not obviously catchy but listen to ‘Bills’ or ‘Who is Your Next Target’ a couple of times and don’t even think about trying to forget them. Not that you’d want to forget them for a second. At what point does this stop being the guys from Veronica Falls and Mazes and when do we start referring to those bands as the guys from Ultimate Painting? They’re a vital band, Dusk simply pushes that point home.


From their upcoming album “Dusk” ~ out September 30th, 2016.

London, UK duo of Jack Cooper & James Hoare.


Image result for ultimate painting band

Dusk is the third Ultimate Painting album, a well-oiled psychedelic folk machine made up from Jack Cooper and James Hoare . Both come from severely underrated bands, Mazes and Veronica Falls. What first brought me into their world is how their writing styles melted together. Ultimate Painting had enough distorted moments to jolt you from your zoning out, but then you could float back into a beanbag, letting the relaxing atmosphere soothe you. Green Lanes, out last year, was a meditative affair. I’d be lying if I didn’t accept that ‘The Ocean’ had this magical feeling of longing and that’s why I got hooked on that one. What Green Lanes accomplished was syncing Cooper and Hoare‘s writing styles.

Now comes Dusk, out on Trouble in Mind records. It’s the perfect name for the album, as the feelings of sunsets do come across. There’s an inherent sadness in Ultimate Painting‘s work, but it doesn’t feel like it stems from depression. It’s that sadness attached to reflection, to that self-assessment you do when something is finished. End of a day. End of a season. End of year. Something has changed and with the good and bad that change bring, there’s a certain unnamed feeling creeping by. That feeling is evoked by Dusk.

‘Portrait of Jason’ in particular fits this description. Relaxed pace, minimalist arrangements, and enough atmosphere to terraform an old barren planet. The inclusion of a Rhodes in several tracks, like ‘Lead the Way’, enriches the atmosphere. A bit of gospel? Perhaps, it’s a grand old instrument and letting it shine like it does in this track gives the band its own sound. This sound, developed by this constant release schedule, is now fully evolved and it makes Dusk a highlight in their career:

Image of Ultimate Painting - Dusk

Dusk is the third album from London-based duo Ultimate Painting, a ten song set that expands the group’s sound from their self-titled debut and their critically acclaimed sophomore effort Green Lanes, about whose tunes Pitchfork raved their “deceptively simple interplay slowly worms into your synapses…” Dusk heads along the same path, albeit in a slightly different direction, forging to new territory by heading inward. Most groups would kill to have one talented songwriter in their ranks, but Ultimate Painting are lucky enough to be comprised of two singular voices in Jack Cooper and James Hoare.

The pair’s distinctive songwriting styles began to blur a bit with Green Lanes, but on Dusk it ’s hard to tell where Cooper ends & Hoare begins. Their tunes weave in & out of each other like the duo’s respective six-strings, spiralling around each other in a laconic dance. Album opener ‘Bills’ dives head-first into a crystalline pool of jangle, furthering the duo’s rep as purveyors of the Verlaine/Lloyd legacy, but despite the evident influence of American guitar pop both past & present, the group’s recorded an album that feels decidedly English. Cooper’s abstract poeticism balanced perfectly alongside Hoare’s alluring & universal pop leanings. The group’s discovered a simple lushness in Dusk’s arrangements, sometimes only with subtle additions like Hoare’s recently acquired Wurlitzer piano that drives tunes like ‘Lead The Way’ or washes underneath others like ‘Monday Morning, Somewhere Central’. They’ve tapped into the subtle grace that infects the mood and emotions experienced at times like sunrise & dusk. Hopefullness. Resignation. Ennui. A breathing in. A breathing out.

Dusk was once again recorded to tape by guitarist James Hoare in his London flat. The casual setting allowed the sessions & songs to unfold naturally, with the two of them accompanied by recent live drummer Melissa Rigby, who drums on the entirety of Dusk. Her skills lend a rhythmic elasticity to songs like ‘A Portrait of Jason’ and ‘I Can’t Run Anymore’, with jazzy undertones that break from the band’s previously unadorned 4/4 leanings. Dusk feels different and cements the group’s presence in the modern world guitar pop, finding voice in the allure of quietude.

Image of Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch (Bonus Disc Edition)

Norwegian artist Jenny Hval announces the release of her new album, Blood Bitch via Sacred Bones. Co-produced with acumen noise producer Lasse Marhaug, Blood Bitch is in many respects a complete 180° from her last album, Apocalypse, Girl, in subject matter, execution and production. It is Hval’s most focused album, but the lens is filtered through a gaze which the viewer least expects.

In the words of Jenny Hval: “Blood Bitch is an investigation of blood. Blood that is shed naturally. The purest and most powerful, yet most trivial, and most terrifying blood: Menstruation. The white and red toilet roll chain which ties together the virgins, the whores, the mothers, the witches, the dreamers, and the lovers. Blood Bitch is also a fictitious story, fed by characters and images from horror and exploitation films of the ’70s. With that language, rather than smart, modern social commentary, I found I could tell a different story about myself and my own time: a poetic diary of modern transience and transcendence. There is a character in this story that is a vampire Orlando, traveling through time and space. But there is also a story here of a 35-year old artist stuck in a touring loop, and wearing a black wig. She is always up at night, jet lagged, playing late night shows – and by day she is quietly resting over an Arp Odyssey synthesizer while a black van drives her around Europe and America. So this is my most fictional and most personal album. It’s also the first album where I’ve started reconnecting with the goth and metal scene I started out playing in many years ago, by remembering the drony qualities of Norwegian Black Metal. It’s an album of vampires, lunar cycles, sticky choruses, and the smell of warm leaves and winter.”

Jenny Hval has developed her distinct take on intimate sound since the release of her debut album in 2006. For her last two solo albums, 2013’s Innocence Is Kinky and 2015’s Apocalypse, girl, Hval has received thoughtful and widespread international acclaim for her fascinating voice, singular delivery and markedly non-traditional arrangements which incorporate elements of poetry, prose writing,
performance art, and film. She eloquently brings to light issues of both male and female gaze.

Warehouse -

Atlanta’s Warehouse will release their sophomore album, Super Low, at the end of the month by way of the Brooklyn-based label Bayonet. This is welcome news, since we named Warehouse a Band To Watch last year based on the strength of their unconventionally catchy debut LP Tesseract. We’ve heard a few singles off of super LowReservoir and Simultaneous Contrasts and today we’re premiering the title track. While Warehouse was recording Super Low, Elaine Edenfield was coping with a personal loss, which affected her creative process tremendously. She describes feeling “Super Low” as follows:

Super Low is about near loss, loss, and fear of loss. The slowest song, leaning towards the album’s most heavy subconscious undertones, Super Low is the coming to a point of resolution, understanding, and maturation.

Though this song was born of trauma, it’s not an upsetting first listen. There’s so much life in “Super Low” that it’s hard to fathom this song is about death until you listen carefully to Edenfield’s lyrics. Still, her words are resilient: “I can’t destroy the things/ They keep me alive/ And I can’t destroy the things/ That lead to where you lie.”

Image of Public Access TV - Never Enough - Bonus Disc Edition

Having successfully nabbed the attention of NME early on, with the magazine singing their praises after uploading just one song to SoundCloud and declaring them “New York City’s hottest new band”, the group played their first live show at the legendary East Village bar Niagara, to a packed crowd before heading to England to hone their sound.
Touring under the fake band name “The iLL Herbs’ their run of UK shows was a huge success, culminating in their performance at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton.
The band have more recently played both the Bonnaroo and Governor’s Ball Festivals. In addition, both NME, and Entertainment Weekly declared the group one of the “buzziest” bands at SXSW this past year. The band also played a sold-out NME show at Birthdays in London this February, as well as a number of support slots for The Strokes, Hinds, FIDLAR and Palma Violets.

Image of Ian Sweet - Shapeshifter

IAN SWEET’s indie pop packs the personality that [Hardly Art] is known for, spinning conventional rock band setups into output that is unconventional.”

“They’ve relocated across the USA, gone on three tours, eaten a lot of donuts, climbed rocks and worn crocs.”

“The unmistakable voice of singer Jillian Medford is a force that stands all on its own.”

“I have a way of loving too many things to take on just one shape,” Jilian Medford sings over and over again on the title track of the Brooklyn-based band IAN SWEET’s debut album, Shapeshifter, repeating it like a mantra. This is Medford’s thesis statement, a narrator to carry us through Shapeshifter, which is above all else a meditation on loneliness and displacement. It’s about losing love and your sense of self in the process, about grabbing at the little things in life that bring joy when nothing else is going according to plan. It’s also an ode to the bandmates, and the friends, that see you through. Ian Sweet started in 2014 with a string of text messages. Medford was a few days away from embarking on her first tour when the driver and drummer she recruited cancelled. Medford sent Ian Sweet drummer Tim Cheney  whom she barely knew a series of desperate messages, asking if he knew how to drum and whether or not he would be willing to take two weeks off of life to go on tour. Cheney responded soon after with a simple: “Yes.” Accompanied by Cheney and bassist Damien Scalise’s playful instrumentation, Shapeshifter becomes a celebratory purging, an album that finds humor in self-deprecation and vice.

Ian Sweets debut interrogates capital-e Existence through a candy-coated lens, their mathy precision scaffolding the chaos of Medford’s personal neurosis and turning those anxieties into something hook-laden and relatable. And though the narrative of Shapeshifter clings to an ex-lover, the yearning felt on this album isn’t directed at a particular individual so much as it’s turned inward. “You know the feeling. When you really like someone, you forget to do anything for yourself, you forget all of the things that gave you your shape,” Medford says. “The things that form your absolute.”

Image of Various Artists - Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia Presents PZYK VOL.2: Further Adventures In The PZYK Diaspora

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia are thrilled to announce the release of PZYK Vol.2 – a deluxe triple vinyl compilation celebrating the latest stars in the neo-psychedelic firmament.

The release comes one year on from the original, scene defining release PZYK Vol.1, which was named Piccadilly Records ‘Compilation Of The Year’. Featuring a mix of exclusive tracks, re-mixes, rarities and album cuts, the compilation spans and charts the global PZYK diaspora, with artists from around the world contributing to an international selection comprising 30 of the current movement’s key noisemakers.

Festival headliners SUPER FURRY ANIMALS are featured, as are The Horrors with a scintillating cut from TOM FURSE. The compilation again celebrates the internationalism of the neo-psych underground, with appearances from KIKAGAKU MOYO (Japan), DUNGEN (Sweden), PURE PHASE ENSEMBLE (Poland), ZOMBIE ZOMBIE (France), THE GANJAS (Chile) and 10,000 RUSSOS (Portugal), to name but a few.

All the artists featured on the release have performed at Liverpool Psych Fest.

Image of Bon Iver - 22, A Million

22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self- understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.

Image of Pixies - Head Carrier

Sophomore ‘post reunion’ album from the alt-rock four piece, their first new music since 2014’s Indie Cindy.

This 12 track record showcases the band’s unique mixture of surrealism, psychedelia, dissonance + surf rock.

Produced by Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Killing Joke) and recorded at London’s Rak Studios.

Paz Lenchantin, the band’s touring bassist since early 2014 (and previously a member of A Perfect Circle and Zwan amongst others) is now a permanent member of the band and her cool vocals can be heard on the album, most notably on ‘All I Think About Now’ on which she takes the lead.

Image of The Wytches - All Your Happy Life

The Wytches second album All Your Happy Life draws on a lifetime’s worth of new experiences shoehorned into two whirlwind years since their acclaimed debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’. There’s no difficult second album syndrome here. This black-hearted set is a combination of heavy comedown psychedelia and bilious and brilliant baroque ‘n’ roll. It’s portentous and scathing. Scabrous and bold. Utterly nihilistic.

Influences and inspiration is drawn from unexpected places – reading Tolstoy’s stories of dysfunctional relationships on the tour bus, digging the warm Hammond-and-acoustic tones of Elliot Smith, loads of underground metal band – but mainly it is informed by observing small town English life with new eyes, having traversed the planet on that first wave of success that followed their 2014 debut. It’s not so much the sound of the calm after the storm, but the howling vortex that follows in its wake.

All Your Happy Life marks a creative leap for The Wytches. Some might say it is the sound of a band finding their place in the world but really it is about world being allowed to enter the sphere of The Wytches – on their terms.

Image of Slaves - Take Control

Following on from the success of Slaves’ top 10 Mercury-nominated debut album ‘Are You Satisfied’, the duo mark their return with first single ‘Spit It Out’, an explosion of punk-rock fury that trails second album, ‘Take Control’. ‘Take Control’ was produced by one of the legends of early hip hop and New York punk, Mike D!!

CooleyImage of Drive-By Truckers - American Band

A statement from Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood: “We are beyond thrilled to announce the release date of our new album ‘American Band’.

“These are crazy times and we have made a record steeped in this moment of history that we’re all trying to live through. We’ve always considered ourselves a political band, even when that aspect seemed to be concealed by some type of narrative device i.e. dealing with issues of race by telling a story set in the time of George Wallace or class struggles by setting ‘Putting People On The Moon’ in the age of Reagan.

“This time out, there are no such diversions as these songs are mostly set front and center in the current political arena with songs dealing with our racial and cultural divisions, gun violence, mass shootings and political assholery. Once again, there is a nearly even split between the songs of  and myself, with both of us bringing in songs that seem to almost imply a conversation between us about our current place in time.

“‘American Band’ is a sort of rock and roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in. Most of all, we look at it as the beginnings of some conversations that we, as a people very much need to begin having if we ever hope to break through the divisions that are threatening to tear us apart.

“Drive-By Truckers are celebrating our twentieth anniversary as a band in an election year where some people are trying to define what it is to be American. Definitions based on some outdated ideology of prejudice and fear. We are loudly proclaiming that those people don’t speak for us. America is and always has been a land of immigrants and ideals. Ideals that we have often fallen short of achieving, but it’s the striving that has given us whatever claims to greatness we have had. That’s what America means to us and “We’re an American Band”.”

Image of The Wands - Faces EP

Scandinavian psych-rock outfit The Wands pinned themselves at the forefront of the European psych stage long ago with their previous efforts but the new Faces EP is certain to keep them sitting there comfortably. Dining on an influence of Nuggets-era rock and roll and Eastern acid-rock this is psychedelic music as it should be, underpinned by a nostalgic yearning but wholly innovative and equally addictive. Their latest cut is a much more dynamic and vivid effort and it’s immediately evident that The Wands are back with a clearer vision than ever with their vibrant and infectious psych. Whilst the groovy fuzzed-out guitars, otherworldly solos and tremulous vocals still echo a tripped out ode to the 60s and 70s psychedelic forefathers, the cosmic swell of synths and organs propel it with a contemporary and ethereal vigour.

Dusk will be Ultimate Painting’s third album in three years, but the London duo still sounds like it takes time to get moving. The guitars of Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls) loop in and out of each other like rubber bands, taut one moment and wobbly the next. Where past records crossed their third album with a paradoxically easygoing motorik beat, Dusk expands the duo’s pop sensibilities, finding tension in quiet melodies.

Shot at James Hoare’s home studio off Green Lanes in East London, the “Song For Brian Jones” video features their guitars, keyboards and reel-to-reel machine double-exposed with mountains and rivers. Named for the Rolling Stones founder member, the song is a moody and shifty piece of psychedelic pop. Guitars tangle with soft harmonies and light Wurlitzer like night moving in slow motion, casting strange shadows against the asphalt. “It’s all in my mind, paranoia and the fires burning wild,” the duo sings. “It’s all in my mind, buried deep, but the truth’s there to find.”

Dusk comes out September. 30th on Trouble In Mind Records.

The duo of James Hoare and Jack Cooper, otherwise known as Ultimate Painting, are set to release their third LP titled Dusk on September 30th via the fine folks at Trouble In Mind Records. The lead single, Bills, picks up where their last effort, “Green Lanes”, ended. It is a wonderful track of 70s psych-folk highlighted by some genuinely fantastic guitar work.

Album opener and first single “Bills” furthers the duo’s reputation as purveyors of the Verlaine/Lloyd legacy, but despite the evident influence of American guitar pop both past and present, the group has recorded an album that feels decidedly English. Cooper’s abstract poeticism balances perfectly alongside Hoare’s alluring and universal pop leanings. The group has discovered a simple lushness in Dusk’s arrangements, sometimes only with subtle additions like a recently acquired Wurlitzer piano. They’ve tapped into the subtle grace that infects the mood and emotions experienced at times like sunrise and dusk, hopefulness, resignation,

The casual setting during the album’s recording allowed the sessions and songs to unfold naturally, with James and Jack accompanied by recent live drummer Melissa Rigby, who drums on the entirety of Dusk. Her skills lend a rhythmic elasticity to the songs with jazzy undertones that break from the band’s previously unadorned 4/4 leanings. Dusk feels different and cements the group’s presence in the modern world of guitar pop,


First single from their forthcoming third album “Dusk”, out September 30th, 2016 via Trouble In Mind Records (