Update – Got the credits on this (via Tetsuo in the comments):
Art Direction – Brett Kilroe, Fab Moretti*
Design – Brett Kilroe, Tina Ibañez
I don’t really know The Strokes’ music so I can’t speak to that but the cover art for their new album, Comedown Machine, caught my eye today. I absolutely love it. Sadly I wasn’t able to find much information on the designer / art director. Does anyone know who did this? The artwork is derived from the packaging for some old RCA Magnetic Tape and the oversized RCA logo is an apparent reference to the fact that this was The Stroke’s final album of a five album deal with the label. The execution is absolutely perfect; it appears as if they really printed the label and sleeve up, weathered / distressed them, and then photographed it. I’m wondering who pitched this idea, the band or the art director? At any rate, I want this framed on my wall.
This album doesn’t need much explanation, it easily rivals the beloved Tame Impala but with a slower more colorful flavor.
The Holydrug Couple have done a lot of growing since their first release with Sacred Bones Records in 2011. The “couple,” consisting of Ives Sepúlveda and Manuel Parra recorded Noctuary in Santiago, Chile. They put together a home studio and recorded the entire album themselves, from start to finish. Feeling that no one else had been able to capture their sound, Ives decided to take a risk and produce and engineer the album on his own. After four months of obsessively working and barely leaving the house, Ives emerged with a final product of which the band is truly proud. All of this hard work has manifested in a more elaborated, astral sounding album than its predecessor, Awe. While Awe and their Ancient Land EP had a bluesier, woodsy sound, Noctuary plays out like a slow motion 60’s beach party dream that you never want to wake from.
This is not your typical motorik beat kraut album; rather it sounds more like a breezy take on Love or Beau Brummels. The way that songs like “Willoweed” and “Paisley” flow seamlessly into one another, it is easy to see how listeners will become entranced by this new, dream-like world that The Holydrug Couple have created. These two stand-out tracks, as well as “Follow Your Way” really exemplify the growth of this band and signify the new direction they’re headed in.
The Holydrug Couple
Buy the LP
Artwork by Michael Cina
Its a very special today for me and i’m glad I get to share it with you all that read the ISO50 Blog. My debut album Loyal under my alias Heathered Pearls came out today. I’ll keep it short since I just want you to listen and enjoy…plus there’s a nicely written description below. Thanks for all the support in the past and more importantly just stopping by the blog and checking out the design and music.
Marbled vinyl (black and white) limited to 600
Unlike some ambient music, Loyal, Jakub Alexander’s release under the Heathered Pearls moniker, embraces the idea of melody with understated but distinct sounds emerging from the loops Alexander uses to construct his tracks. “I wanted to find a world that was built on repetition, erosion and melody because making these songs was about recreating soothing environments.”
The album’s roots lie in a very utilitarian idea: “I started writing what now has become Loyal as a mental break from my personal anxieties,” Alexander says. A study in the hypnotic, calming qualities of music, Loyal is also a tribute to Alexander’s mother and Aunt (featured on the cover) who were crucial in instilling the taste and aesthetics so key to his music. “My mom introduced me to my first ambient record over 10 years ago. Loyal is a response to this.”
This is a record that’s full of delicate beauty. It embraces fragility and lightness, sounding entirely natural despite being created electronically. Tracks ebb and flow into the mix and the songs themselves wash into your headphones like waves receding slowly into silence. The music is unabashedly beautiful with gentle currents of low level tones and gleaming sparkles of synth loops that build and decay.
1 The Worship Bell
2 Beach Shelter
3 Lower Dome
4 Left Climber
5 Steady Veil
6 Raising Our Ashes
7 Ringing Temple (Decreased Version)
8 Precious Dive
9 Docile Touch
10 Endless Tunneling [Bonus Track]
11 Warm Ghost – I Will Return (Heathered Pearls Coasting In Circles Remix) [Bonus Track]
12 Beach Shelter (Loscil’s Grind Remix) [Bonus Track]
13 Lower Dome (Marcus Guentner’s Ahead Remix) [Bonus Track]
Continuing with album design theme, here is a great set of Bulgarian Socialist era album cover designs, curated by SOCMUS.
SOCMUS is a virtual museum that presents different sections of the Bulgarian graphic design from the socialist era, 1944-1989, and is curated by photographer Nikola Mihov, and the architects Martin Angelov and Valeri Gyurov.