Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting) takes us all home with debut solo album Sandgrown

Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting) takes us all home with debut solo album Sandgrown
Photo: Mathew Parri Thomas

Telling people about where your’re from can be an arduous task. When I tell people I’m from Nanuet, New York, the conversation usually goes something like this:

  1. Tell someone I’m from Nanuet
  2. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of Rockland County, home to the Palisades Mall, and the place where the Cuban national baseball team recently menaced an umpire crew off the field during a game.
  3. Clarify that it’s across the Hudson River from its much more well-known, stuck-up cousin, Westchester County.
  4. Scream, “Well it’s 30 miles north of New York City, ever hear of that you miscreant!?” before leaving in a huff.

I hate how insignificant Nanuet is, but at the same time, it’s insignificance is what makes it the best. And while I’d never, ever want to spend any time there beyond hanging out with my parents and our family’s cat, hell yeah, you better believe I have some great memories of it that I’ll cherish forever.

Jack Cooper, one half of the duo Ultimate Painting, is undoubtedly also engaged in a relationship to his own hometown that is a bit “complicated” (and probably much, much more so than the one I have with mine.) On Sandgrown, his debut solo album, Cooper ruminates on the formative years spent in his seaside hometown of Blackpool, England. Blackpool used to be a summer tourist destination, attracting hippies, donkey owners, and the like to its seafront on a yearly basis. Over time though, the tourist trade dwindled, and Cooper had to watch as Blackpool slowly descended into a place rife with drugs, seedy bars, and people struggling to get by. By age 20, Cooper had left Blackpool behind completely.

One needn’t however, be intimately familiar with Blackpool, nor Cooper’s history with it, to enjoy Sandgrown. The album deals more universally with the reconsidering of where it is that we all literally have come from. All of us — especially those professional wrestlers billed as being from “Parts Unknown” — have a hometown with which we can associate complex, weird, nostalgic feelings. And while it may not be able to help us resolve all of them, maybe Sandgrown is just the kind of album to help us at least start to unpack some of them.

Whether you’re ready to deal with your feelings or not, though, Sandgrown is out August 25 via Trouble In Mind Records. Listen to first single “North of Anywhere” down below, and if you feel like you’re finally starting to understand yourself in relation to your hometown, pre-order the album here.

Sandgrown tracklisting:

01. North of Anywhere
02. Gynn Square
03. Stranded Fleetwood Blues
04. A Net
05. Sandgrown Part 1
06. On A Pier In The Wind
07. Estuary
08. Sandgrown Part 2
09. Memphis, Lancashire

Jack Cooper upcoming dates:

09.10.17 - Brighton, UK - The Hope and Ruin
09.11.17 - Salford, UK - BBC 6 Music Session
09.12.17 - London, UK - The Waiting Room
09.13.17 - Bristol, UK - Cafe Kino
09.14.17 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
09.15.17 - Salford, UK - The Eagle Inn
09.16.17 - Blackpool, UK - venue TBC
09.17.17 - Glasgow, UK - The Old Hairdresser’s

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