LISTEN: Ultimate Painting Share “(I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues”

The jumpy folk-rock track was written in protest of the UK's ruling Conservative party.

Weren’t one of the 200,000+ heads in attendance for The Grateful Dead‘s last big to-do? Not to worry. Jack Cooper and James Hoare have you covered with “(I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues,” the second single from their second LP as Ultimate PaintingGreen Lanes. The duo pitch their vocal melodies against one another like Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir circa American Beauty, and the song rolls along on a kind, simple groove.

But it’s not all laid-back vibes. The track was inspired by what the duo see as abuses levied by the UK’s Conservative party. In a statement, Cooper elaborates:

The Conservative government that we’ve had in the UK for the last 5 years have been particularly hard and cruel on the less fortunate members of society. Someone who’s found themselves unemployed has to jump through a variety of hoops to receive a jobseeker’s allowance; a paltry amount of money to help support themselves… If you’re late for your meeting or you fuck up some paperwork, they slap you with a sanction and the tiny amount of money you’re getting by on gets taken away. It’s straight out of Catch 22. ‘(I’ve Got The) Sanctioned Blues’ is us trying to make sense of that. Songs that borrow the imagery and rhythms of the railway are as old as the railways themselves… We didn’t really set out to fit in with that tradition but I suppose that’s where it’s at.

Give “(I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues”—and the album’s first single, “Break the Chain”—a listen, and check out the band’s North American tour dates and the track list for Green Lanes below.

Green Lanes track list

1. KodiakUltimate_Painting-2015-Green_Lanes-tracklist
2. Sweet Chris
3. (I’ve Got The) Sanctioned Blues
4. The Ocean
5. Two from the Vault
6. The Ocean (reprise)
7. Break the Chain
8. I Was Lost
9. Tee Zee Em
10. Paying the Price
11. Woken By Noises
12. Out in the Cold

Ultimate Painting tour dates

September
15 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
19 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East (Upstairs)
20 – Bearsville, NY @ Bearsville Theatre (w/ Mikal Cronin)
26 – Memphis, TN @ Gonerfest
27 – Dallas, TX @ Double Wide

October
3 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records

Green Lanes is out August 7 on Trouble in Mind.

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