Judge the cover.

Synaesthetic people are those whose one particular sense can be stimulated by another. Here we ask: what are the connections between the visual and aural? If we are able to see music for a day, how will it look like (apart from being like beansprouts hung on power cables)?

Today, we attempt to explore the art of album covers, arguably one of the visual expressions of music very accessible to us. Musicians will want to dictate the look of their albums, projecting certain images of themselves or their music on the cover. Definitely, from a business standpoint, many will take that literally and feature the faces of already-famous singers to sell their albums and their recognisability. Others to conjure publicity resort to controversial art and photography (not coincidentally many are from goth/metal).

Qmark discovers that many exciting new covers come from the indie scene. Not about pretty faces, they feature beautiful graphic art and illustrations, tempting you to link visual beauty with musical excellence. However do they have sufficient continuity between the art and the music? Here’s our point of view….

1 The Common
John Mayer “Heavier Things”

The literal cover. Not wrong, but… boring? It doesn’t say anything about the music.

2 The Concept
The Flaming Lips “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”

Concept Albums have a central theme/story running throughout the whole album. The cover is usually a well thought extension of that theme, where with the Flaming Lips, the story of fictional Yoshimi battling against evil is sung.

3 The Cool
Nouvelle Vague “Bande A Part”
Keane “Under the Iron Sea”
Feeder “Pushing the Senses”
Death Cab for Cutie “Plans”

Strong clean flat graphic lines echo electronic soundscapes and cool dreary moods. Very chilly.

4 The Crazy
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists “Shake the Sheets”
Edan “Beauty and the Beat”

Psychedelic and energetic! These colourful covers with hard strong eye-catching reds are so infectious, you can feel the beat already! I like!

5 The Cream
Sigur Ros “Takk”
The Decemberists “Picaresque”
Daphne Loves Derby “On The Strength Of All Convinced”
Broken Social Scene “You Forgot it in People”

Hand-drawn and more arty pieces come with more personal notes. Enter the dreamy world of Sigur Ros or the theatrical world of the Decemberists: a more quirky experience! I love these too, you can feel the personality of these musicians.

qmark.jpg recommends you to listen to them!


One response to “Judge the cover.

  1. your links actually send people to amazon.com! hee hee. anyways i think i’m for the coooool.
    Edan’s “I see colours” is fun though.. just like the cover, thanks!

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