Another year of our favorites in Top Album Cover Artwork, and once again, we interview musicians and artists on the often-underappreciated work that goes into creating a product that not only tickles your ears, but speaks to your eyes and hearts. Album artwork, though often only viewed on tiny screens in this day and age, is indeed a long and laborious process that we love to give its due credit.

So read on, and choose your own artistic adventure:

> Digital & 3D Album Covers
> Fine Art & Illustration Album Covers
> Mixed Media & Collage Album Covers
> Photography & Digitally-Manipulated Album Covers


Photography & Digitally-Manipulated Album Covers of the Year 2015

Anenon – Camembert (FoF Music)

Artwork & Design by Eric Hurtgen

Eric Hurtgen (Artist):
With this particular project, I tried to work from my gut as much as possible. Brian’s music always has this sublime element to it, it always moves me in an emotional sense, so I wanted the artwork to reflect that. Also, any time you’re dealing with wordless music, it’s very easy for the listener to apply their own particular meaning onto it; the music is kind of a vehicle. So I imagined this odd piece of foil formed as a kind of mask that’s reflective but complex and stark. I wanted it to feel simultaneously royal and important but also kind of throwaway, almost like a food wrapper—just like a nice mix of completely mundane and also completely elevated and beautiful.

I created a couple other versions that were much more ‘safe’, I guess, and I did this one thinking, “This is the last one Brian is gonna choose”, but it was my favorite, so I included it. I was surprised and very excited when Brian came back and was like, “That last one is the one.” Also, I have to say Brian is great to work with. He’s very opinionated in what he’s looking for in a really good way, and knows how to push you to make things better.

 

Anna von Hausswolff – The Miraculous (Other Music Recording Company)

Photography & Design by Anders Nydam
Additional Images & Etchings by Anna von Hausswolff


Anna von Hausswolff (Musician):
The Miraculous is about a place in Sweden where I´ve spend a lot of time, both in my youth and adulthood. This place has a long and fascinating history, and I´ve heard some incredible stories about this place, but I have no idea what has actually happened there. There´s seem to be a very blurred line between fantasy and reality, and I always have a hard time to separate the truths from the lies.

The imagination that thrives there is strong, and the nature inspires a lot of creativity. It´s impossible to go there and not become affected by the atmosphere. The nature — together with the emotional depth of the stories about this place — makes it magical. I go there, I get creative, I listen to the story, and I write the story at the same time. The front cover is a portrait of me in this place, a faceless creature surrounded by symbols, light and darkness. Anders Nydam took the photo with an old analog camera so we had to wait until our return to see the final result. When we scanned the image we were quite shaken. Everything in this image is real, but a shadow hides my face. It was a perfect metaphor for what The Miraculous is about: How all the magical things lurk in the dark corners of our reality.