Ultimate Painting – Ten Street

7th January 2024 · 2010s, 2014, Music

I loved Ultimate Painting, who lit up my musical landscape from 2014-2018, and I loved their ambition to make music unsullied by any digital processes.

They came together when Jack Cooper’s group Mazes supported James Hoare’s group Veronica Falls in 2013 and they decided to pursue their shared love of the Velvets and poppier ’70s pop influences.

The results, with Hoare on bass, Cooper on drums, both playing guitars and sharing vocals, sound a lot like Yo La Tengo, especially on this extended version of Ten Street, from their self-titled debut album, which turns into a loose jam the longer it goes on.

They made three great albums, their sound evolving slowly into a more mellow vocal-led affair with echoes of CSNY, but broke up after recording a fourth, Up!

They persuaded their label Bella Union not to release it but not before they sent it out to journalists, including me. I loved it but, frustratingly, it’s on an old laptop and no one has naughtily uploaded it to YouTube so I doubt I will ever hear it again.