Ultimate Painting: Dusk (TIM/Southbound)

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A Portrait of Jason
Ultimate Painting: Dusk (TIM/Southbound)

A little bit of a stretch here but let's get into reference points for this British duo of Jack Cooper and James Hoare, the former sporting a perfect mid Sixties comb-forward fringe.

This is mostly measured, mesmerisingly melodic and quiet jangle-pop . . . with less of the jangle.

Music for dusk, perhaps? 

Think folksy Stills and Nash who'd only heard McCartney and not Lennon, or the quieter end of Seventies power-pop band the Shoes who'd discovered an all-acoustic Byrds album.

There's a fairly evident influence of the psyche-folk/harmony pop of the mid Sixties: Garfunkel-meets-Left Banke (sans the baroque-pop embellishments).

The layout of the back cover photos would seem to reference Rubber Soul (but musically only In My Life and Girl from that album, ironically both Lennon songs).

But there's also as much post-punk melody-pop influence here (a very mellow Bats-jangle groove on Bills, Monday Morning Somewhere Central and Who is Your Next Target? with a smidgen of Young Marble Giants) as there is Velvet Underground in their coming-down ballad mode (Silhouetted Shimmering).

So, by being a vague but very gentle implosion of various influences, Dusk actually come off as some Romanticist expression of classic pop melodies reduced to essences, and mostly slowed to half-speed. (Skippool Creek closes with a guitar passage something akin to a Tom Verlaine 45rpm ballad played at 33).

Wow, that's a lotta links to trawl if you care to. 

Nothing here suggests the future of such pop – they sound too medicated or Millennial-mellow to rouse themselves for doing much more than this.

But it does come off a lovely, limited-edition series of delicate watercolours based on some Impressionist oil paintings of the past. 

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