What a year! As we stare down the barrel of 2015, we’ve made time to reflect on the best of what we’ve seen and heard throughout the last 12 months, like the 100 best songs and the 25 best videos. Here’s our take on the stellar artwork that we couldn’t turn away from.
As we continue our retrospective of 2015, it’s time to look back the 20 album covers that left us in awe as much as the music inside did.
Tame Impala – Currents
Currents was THE album of the year in pretty much every circle we floated in to. Designed by Robert Beatty, he based it on the Magic Eye appeal of old school records and the way gas or liquid flows around an object. Stare at it long enough and you might melt.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Paper Mache Dream Balloon
The greatest thing about King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, is how they continually confound our sonic expectations with each release. The cover was by frequent collaborator Jason Galea and we can’t help but feel like we’re peeking behind the scenes of Thomas The Tank Engine.
World Champion – Avocado Galaxy
World Champion are Julian Sudek and Will Campion, they make delicious electronic music reminiscent of Jagwar Ma with a Night Rider feel. Signed to Future Classic these are all the ingredients you need to create a cover that tells a story in itself.
R.W. Grace – Love It Need It Miss It Want It
Love It Need It Miss It Want It contained enough intoxicating lust and longing to keep us well sated for some time. The artwork felt like R.W Grace was opening up her hot jungle mess of emotions to us, both beautiful and dangerous.
You Am I – Porridge & Hotsauce
You Am I delivered a frenetic, revitalized and surprisingly soulful album in Porridge & Hotsauce. True to the bands larrikin style the cover translates very literally, almost as if Tim Rogers knocked over what he was eating for breakfast and had a ‘Eureka!’ moment.
Going Swimming – Deadtime Stories
Piss taking garage-punk, tales of debauchery, horror stories and an acquaintance with the gutter. It was all there on Deadtime Stories, a raucous album that subliminaly draws in any fan of R.L Stine’s Goosebumps based on aesthetics alone.
Tijuana Cartel – Psychedelicatessen
Combining flamenco guitar with synth lines, distortion and afro rhythms the artwork reflected in its imagery the musical exploration found Psychedelicatessen. Drawing on Aboriginal dreamtime images and tribal drawings, the cover provides a smorgasbord of colour and images to feast your eyeballs on.
Harts – Breakthrough
Darren Hart’s blend of 80s electro beats and sweltering modern blues guitar was as catchy as his live charisma. Drawing heavily on the groove and funk of 80s guitar rock and disco, the cover still manages to feel like it’s emitting that era’s neon vibe despite being entirely black, white and grey.
Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again
Until recently it felt like Pond’s brilliance was criminally underrated, but it was Man It Feels Like Space Again that changed all that. Ben Montero provided the playful comic book like cover art that offers each track name a personalized illustration.
Bin Juice – Episode IV
Self described as ‘Slow Bone Funkers’, Bin Juice delivered the raucous funk on Episode IV, the first in a series of EPs in homage to the Star Wars pattern. Nick Potts kept the artwork suitably galactic and even threw in an all seeing eye to kick of the conspiracy theories.
Wild Honey – Wild Honey
Wild Honey helped usher in the summer vibes with their inspired, gooey and melodic set of surf tunes on self-titled EP, the perfect sound to assist in your daydream escape from the mundane. If you didn’t pick that up from the cover, it’s time you too began to daydream.
You Beauty – Illywhacka
Tessa Chong created an artwork that braced you for the surprisingly deep concept of online scammers that made up the bulk of You Beauty’s Illywhacka. In true style they cover interesting topics with enough charisma to not overload your brain. Also there is nothing more delightfully serious than a King Prawn and chips.
Art vs Science – Off The Edge Of The Earth And Into Forever, Forever
Art vs Science are in the business of hard-hitting big dance music that bends and twists around your mind, whether you be at a festival or your casual morning shower. Andrew Fairclough managed to translate in art an exact representation of what happened when we listened to the aforementioned album.
Tiny Little Houses – You Tore Out My Heat
You Tore Out My Heart is a pretty blunt and brutal EP title but Tiny Little Houses took their dissection of sorrow and turned it into beautiful, soft spoken pop gems. Which more than made up for the moment we realized we were staring at open-heart surgery.
Blind Man Death Stare – Born A Centimetre From The Finish Line
Where do we start with this one? Punk outfit The Pints re-emerge as Blind Man Death Stare, losing none of the fire and vitriol they hit us with a quick fire EP and an accompanying cover that really helped to capture, in all it’s cartoonish glory, the zeitgeist of 2015.
Sarah Mary Chadwick – 9 Classic Tracks
Just when you think you’ve seen it all Sarah Mary Chadwick hit’s you with 9 Classic Tracks. Not only is the album a haunting, visceral and beautiful observation of relationships and love, Chadwick’s own painting manages to capture the absurdity of relationships being both beautiful and deeply disturbing.
Moses Gunn Collective- Mercy Mountain
Mercy Mountain is a fine experiment in a weird and wonderful world that makes it okay to own glitter cannons. Which might explain why we feel like we’re holding a peacock every time we pick up the album. The art represents music perfectly, a maddening kaleidoscope of sound and emotion.
Oh Mercy – When We Talk About Love
Oh Mercy / Alexander Gow has quite the penchant for turning heartbreak, isolation and love into cathartic gems. Nothing says ‘everything will work out fine’ quite like a Harry Underwood pink-heavy pastel of a couple talking about love in public.
Seth Sentry – Strange New Past
Seth Sentry’s Strange New Past was a brilliant collection of musings from a man searching to find his place in the adult world. With our suppressed immaturity still managing to rear its head, we like to think that this Sci-Fi themed artwork is as strange and fascinating as turning in to an adult.
Filthy Apes – Indigovidual
Flaunting pseudonyms and Gorilla masks the Filthy Apes blew open the door to our minds armed only with Indigovidual and a fondness of primates. Such was the feeling of euphoria that the idea of a suave, sophisticated Chimpanzee in the sky really is responsible for pulling all the strings wasn’t all that far fetched.