“All I need is a peace of mind/ Looking for a place to hide/ Run away and close my eyes” sing Londoners Jack Cooper and James Hoare, aka Ultimate Painting, on ‘I’m Set Free’, a track from their latest LP ‘Dusk’. True to its title, hesitant early evening hues are reflected in this record’s musical and lyrical content. It is a hushed, delicate affair recorded in Hoare’s flat with the help of drummer Melissa Rigby.
At times, ‘I’m Set Free’ is less about having no limits, more about being contained by the things around you. “Can’t you see I’m really bored, I had the cash and spend it all” is their response to the mounting bills and debts that “have gone through the roof into the sun”. Hiding in the shadows of comforting vocals and gorgeous pop melody is a rather blunt confession: “I’m not great at being told what to do. It seems the older I get the less I get comfortable with it.”
Each track is a musical sketch that assembles fragments of thoughts and shadows of daily pursuits. Escaping the urgency of old, this Ultimate Painting is a picture of a disquiet melancholy.