9 Songs, 29 Minutes


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About Jack Cooper

As a young music fan, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jack Cooper was inspired to start making music by the Stone Roses in the early '90s, and then expanded his musical horizons by tracking down albums the band mentioned in interviews. Cooper's first band of note was the neo-psych outfit the Beep Seals, which he formed in 2006 with former members of Alfie. The band released singles and one LP, Things That Roar, before splitting up in 2009. They also spent time serving as Jim Noir's backing band. Cooper next started Mazes as a recording project, then added a bass and drums to start playing live shows. The trio, which settled into a steady lineup of Cooper, drummer Neil Robinson, and bassist Conan Roberts, signed to FatCat Records, released numerous singles and three well-regarded albums that had elements of various strands of indie rock filtered through Cooper's expressive guitar playing and honest-sounding vocals. Apart from the band, Cooper busied himself with a couple of unique projects. In 2011, as part of an initiative he called Art Is Cheap, he hired out his services as a songwriter for £10 a pop, eventually finishing 35 songs in all. He posted some of the more interesting results online. In November of 2012, he undertook writing and recording an album in a 24-hour period. The finished product, titled Cape Clear, was made available the next day.

In 2013, while Mazes were touring with Veronica Falls, Cooper struck up a musical friendship with that band's guitarist James Hoare. The duo decided to record together, and after some initial difficulties getting it together, they formed Ultimate Painting. Their first self-titled album was released in October of 2014 by U.S. indie label Trouble in Mind. This band became Cooper's main gig for the next few years as they toured steadily and released three albums over a three-year span. After that whirlwind of activity, Cooper turned to something more reflective as he readied his first true solo album. Recorded on an old four-track with no outside help, Sandgrown features the singer in an intimate setting reflecting on his childhood and coming of age in the coastal town of Blackpool. The album was released by Trouble in Mind in August of 2017. ~ Tim Sendra