Record sleeves of the month

It’s been a while since our last roundup of beautiful record sleeves so we thought we’d pick out and share some releases from the last couple of months from labels 4AD, Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Sub Pop and more…

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It’s been a while since our last roundup of beautiful record sleeves so we thought we’d  pick out and share some releases from the last couple of months from labels 4AD, Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Sub Pop and more…

First up is the just-released album from Canadian duo Purity Ring, Shrines, which features handrawn artwork by Kristina Baumgartner.

Layout by Matt de Jong. Label: 4AD.

The Temper Trap‘s eponymous album features a shot of ink in water and the cover, and more of the same inside. Not the most original idea, perhaps, but when it’s done well, it is an undeniably beautiful thing.

Photography: Alberto Seveso. Design by Boat Studio. Label: Liberation Records.

The sleeve of Father John Misty‘s Fear Fun album (cover of the vinyl version, above) is adorned with artwork by Russian-born New York-based artist Dimitri Drjuchin. Apparently the psychedelic cover is his interpretation of the album.

The vinyl version of the album comes with two fold out lyric and story sheets and a copy of the album on CD:

Design by Jeff Kleinsmith and Sasha Barr. Label: Bella Union / Sub Pop.

The latest release from San Franciscan psych-rock outfit Moon Duo is a Halloween-themed EP entitled Horror Tour. Artwork is by Manchester-based screenprinter and illustrator SAVWO. Label: Souterrain Transmissions.

See more of SAVWO’s output at

I saw this and loved it so wanted to include it here, although I’m fairly sure it’s nostalgia rather than design excellence that appeals to me. It’s the just-released cassette-only release, entitled Cassette, by Stones Throw artist Jon Wayne.

Design by Jeff Jank. Check out track Bukowski from the release here.

I also wanted to show the limited edition release from Ninja Tune‘s Amon Tobin which is housed in a bolt-fastened press containing six 10″ vinyl records, 7 CDs and 2 DVDs. To access the contents, simply spin off the bolts and lift off the various disc-containing layers and artwork…

OK, so with those bolts sticking out, it’s not going to sit flush with other box sets on your shelves but actually as a practical solution to storing the discs and printed artwork, it’s sturdy, easy to use and feels suitably reverent. There’s even a making-of film cut, but of course, to Amon Tobin beats:

Packaging design: Oscar & Ewan. Packaging development and production: Think Tank Media.


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  • Luke Weall

    That’s actually the second album from The Temper Trap and looks as bland as their first sounded.

  • Patrick

    Eponymous means of the same name, Luke. Unless they’ve edited it out, there’s no mention of it being their debut.

  • Rob

    When you have the creative opportunity to make something exciting, interesting, artistic or even iconic why would you do something as crushingly boring as that Temper Trap sleeve? You are right, there is an undeniable beauty about it, but there is also an undeniable beauty about white Helvetica with tight kerning on a block of red, but so what? Come on, try a little harder!

  • Jon

    How can something beautiful be boring? The Temper Trap concept isn’t original but it doesn’t have to be, and the execution is just perfect. The artwork compliments the music, so Boat Studio did a great job in my opinion.

  • @Rob – not sure how something can be simultaneously undeniably beautiful and crushingly boring? Just because something isn’t original (what is) doesn’t mean it isn’t well considered, appropriate or excellent. As a fan of the band and both albums I think this is a great move on from the first albums artwork.

  • Father John Misty and Amon Tobin are excellent – the latter in particular. Have to agree that Temper Trap is a bit unoriginal by comparison, but as Luke says above it is well executed.

  • Ninja tunes Niiiice!! Now can someone by me a belt because we know it’s not all @ pants!!………… But really there’s some good work here!! Good going!!

  • Jon Wayne.!!!!!

  • The ‘Purity Ring’ cover is beautifully put together and there are some interesting ideas here. Personally I think seeking originality for its own sake is an empty goal. Ideas are built on ideas and sometimes it takes only tiny twist to refresh an old approach. Of course it’s always exciting to see a big leap in creative thinking but it doesn’t happen very often.

  • Charlie

    The Temper Trap idea was beautiful when GF Smith did on the paper sampler years ago. It is just an easy option void of any real substance or idea now.

  • The temper track is definately the best one. Not sure what it is in the photo but I like that. Could be paint in water?

  • No, the temper track is much likely a gas evacuation in the water, it looks really great to the eyes it attracts..Really nice