This month’s round-up of intriguing, unusual or beautiful album art includes work for The Horrors, Fink, Sohn and Oneohtrix Point Never. First up, though, is Melbourne studio Tin&Ed‘s work for Australian musician Chet Faker’s album, Built on Glass…
Chet Faker – Built on Glass
Studio founders Tin Nguyen and Ed Cutting shot a series of still lifes for the album, which are featured inthe accompanying lyrics booklet. Illustrated versions were also produced for Faker’s website.
“The series talks about the impermanence of objects, memories and relationships,” says Nguyen. “We’ve used objects that are millions of years old, and others that are manmade and very new to create an expanded sense of time and history. The series also explores a number of other themes from the album, one of which is strength and fragility, and how those two things co-exist,” he adds.
Label: Future Classic / Downtown
Fink – Hard Believer
Australian artist James Lake produced the cover image for Fink’s album, Hard Believer, out July 14. The concept was to transmogrify images of the world, says Lake, who produced a similar piece in orange and blue tones for the title single.
“With the album’s cover I wanted something bold and esoteric, but the image also had to emit a…traditional rhythmn and blues sensibility, something home grown and close to the heart. I guess that’s why all the bleached out jades and maroons fit well juxtaposed against the cover’s dark centre. The album’s heavy, it’s serious and yet, it’s reminiscent of an old friend’s companionship, or one of your father’s old vinyls,” he says.
Working from Sri Lanka and the Himalayas, Lake created ten variations of the central image – one to correspond with each track on the album – which can be seen in the accompanying lyrics book. Band member Fin Greenall says the aim was to present an artist’s reflection of the music, without any briefs or limitations.
Label: Ninja Tune
Sohn – Tremors
The artwork for Sohn (Christopher Taylor)’s album, Tremors, features some striking photography shot by Carla Fernandez Andrade near the active volcanic lake Myvatn in Iceland.
“We were drawn to [Carla’s] beautifully muted landscapes and the dream-like quality of her images,” says Alison Fielding, who designed the artwork with Sohn. “We felt the idea of a solitary enigmatic figure on a manmade road, leading to the dramatic backdrop of the natural environment would work beautifully for a cover.
“The back image has the same figure set against an equally bleak landscape…[and] the inside reveals the figure. The bleached and milky feel of the whole package, with tones of white, silver and pops of blue, leant itself to a gentle minimalist touch with the grey type. We felt it was appropriate for the minimalism of the music and the clarity of his voice,” she adds.
EMA – The Future’s Void
Fielding also worked on the cover art for EMA’s album The Future’s Void, which features some equally intriguing imagery.
The front cover art features the musician wearing an Oculus virtual reality headset, immersed in a rainbow world. “When you flip to the back though, you can see that she is actualy in a gritty basement, or the void, with black typography, and not in some rainbow virtual fantasy,” explains Fielding.
“The inside brings us back into the rainbow world with a Pantone orange & violet colour palette. It is a fairly DIY affair but produced some great results, particularly with the violet coloured vinyl,” she adds.
Oneohtrix Point Never – Commissions I
Next is Robert Beaty’s artwork for Oneohtrix Point Never (Brooklyn musician Daniel Lopatin)’s album, Commissions I, which features a collection of tracks commissioned for art, film and performances, including Doug Aitken’s Song 1 installation.
Beaty previously designed the artwork for Lopatin’s album, R Plus Seven, below, and says he is “always trying to figure out ways to represent movement with very simple graphic elements.
“Oneohtrix Point Never’s music is full of long, calm, uninterrupted passages that quickly decay from under your feet and transform into something else. This cover was an attempt to capture that feeling – something you’ve become familiar with suddenly collapsing and transforming right before you in a flash,” he adds.
See more of Beaty’s work at remainsstreet.com/
The Horrors – Luminous
Cover images for The Horrors’ latest album, Luminous, were shot by photographer Nic Shonfeld and explore the theme of refracted light. “There wasn’t really a brief, other than we found ourselves talking about refracted light and decided to explore it,” he says.
“The results came about after experimenting for a month with and without lenses. The darkness comes by default with the technique [using a clamp stand, torch and refractable materials]. The images used are 35mm negative scans, and effects and colouration have not been enhanced by a computer,” he says.
Artwork was designed by Marc Donaldson, who created a custom typeface for the cover and a new monogram for the band.
“I knew I wanted to keep the design clean and dynamic. This meant a nice tight grid for the inner sleeves [below],” says Donaldson.
“The monogram wasn’t asked for but I thought they needed a signature as artists. In the future, I see this as a standalone logo identity. One of the fans has already got a tattoo of it and it was featured on the back of a leather jacket in the video for So Now You Know [see below] which caused an online hunt to buy them,” he says.
The monogram is made up of five pieces, adds Donaldson, which represents each member of the band. “When I met them, I realised they don’t make any decisions without each other, which made me realise what a strong unit they are. Hence, if one of the elements was removed, the monogram would be incomplete. The elements are housed in a square to symbolise that strong unit,” he says.
Pattern is Movement – Pattern is Movement
The colourful cover art for Philadelphia band Pattern is Movement’s self titled album was designed by Hometapes’ Adam Heathcott and features photography by Peter English.
“I thought the band should be up front and centre as it’s a self titled album, but I wanted the world to see them how I see them: as infintely complex humans made from a million prismatic points of colour and influence,” says Heathcott. “I was staring at Moebius’ illustrations the whole time, trying to figure out a way to create ‘living sculptures’ and somewhere along the way it turned into this,” he adds.
To create the artwork, Heathcott ran English’s images through various scripts in Illustrator and Photoshop. He is also working on a music video for the band with the same visual effects.
Panama Wedding – All of the People/UMA/Parallel Play
Brighton based illustrator Steven Wilson has designed a series of covers for US band Panama Wedding, each featuring the same image of a face.
“The band were looking for something very graphic and iconic for their artwork and were very keen that it was linked in some way so whatever was created would instantly be recognisable as theirs,” explains Wilson.
“I decided to create a profile of a face that I could reinterpret to tell a different story for each piece of artwork. I used the title of each release to inform my execution in as simple and direct a way as possible, so the reasoning behind the artwork would make sense when viewed with the title. For example, I used the profile multiple times within an abstract globe for the first single ‘All of the People’ whilst the EP Parallel Play used the face in repeat to create parallel lines from the profile shape,” he adds.
The same motif has been applied to a series of single remixes and the band’s forthcoming release, UMA.