Ultimate Painting - Up! (Bella Union, 2018)
Ultimate Painting’s new intoxicatingly delicious album Up! on 180 gram yellow vinyl, again with a lovely inspiring album jacket and multi coloured inner sleeve is a breath of fresh air in a room that’s been feeling a bit confined as winter draws to a close, and spring offers this delightful flight of musical fantasy.
Always known for their airy and expansive sound, one that works its way into the core of my being time and time again, as if their songs have been part of me for my entire life, though only now lazily simmering their way to the surface of my conscious. With that in mind, as the album spins on my turntable, I’ve been staring at the cover art, thinking that there’s something that will reveal itself if I but perceive with the proper gaze, and then there’s the album’s title Up!, where the band ties every aspect together, with the word ‘Up’ being derived from combining the first letters of the group’s name.
The music still flows from their inspirations, dripping with 60’s inspired jangling psychedelic sounds, though there’s not a single track that comes across as being derivative, with all of the songs sounding fresh, meshing their sonic sensibilities with the past flawlessly, where something new is created, rather than simply reinventing the musical wheel, feeling effortless and embracing, and might just be their most cohesive album to date; with the band joking that Up! is the most ‘Ultimate Paintingy’ album they’ve ever made … and it does assent to those visions.
Whether you call the record psychedelic, jangle, or dream pop, it’s gonna be on your turntable for awhile, laying down a morphing soundtrack for spring to blossom into summer.
- Jenell Kesler
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