We’re living in a digital age where the whole album packaging medium is arguably less relevant than ever before. But there are still many music fans and collectors who delight in the physical, and many artists still take the time to make sure their album art is a thoughtful and interesting extension of their music. Here are twelve covers from 2015 that prove there’s still a place in the music world for great album art.
Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer
Crazy, funny, scary, interesting, unique. Possibly the best visual representation of Deacon’s music. (Artist: Joanna Fields)
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
Josh Tillman plays baby Jesus in this medieval-esque surreal bar scene. (Artist: Stacey Rozich)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
A perfect image for what Kendrick became in 2015, evolving into an artist boldly confronting American culture and politics like nobody else right now.
Purity Ring – Another Eternity
The band aimed to capture the brighter, more romantic music on this album and combine it with a classic ’90s sci-fi alien abduction vibe. (Artist: Tallulah Fontaine)
Son Lux – Bones
This vivid image was created by building a free-standing pyramid made of fluorescent light tubes. Balloons filled with coloured powder were exploded within the structure. (Artist: The Made Shop)
Tame Impala – Currents
Inspired by “vortex shedding”, the way a liquid or gas travels around an object, perfectly combined with Tame Impala’s retro aural aesthetic. (Artist: Robert Beatty)
The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Created by The Decemberists’ go-to visual artist Carson Ellis, who happens to be frontman Coli Meloy’s wife, and is responsible for most of the band’s amazing album covers and merch. (Artist: Carson Ellis)
Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again
This piece borrows from Big Brother & The Holding Company’s album Cheap Thrills. Each frame of the comic gives an illustrated interpretation of each track on the album. (Artist: Benny Montero)
Passion Pit – Kindred
A retro family dinner with a young boy staring into your soul. Surely we’ve all felt like this at some point during holiday family dinners. (Artist: Steven Brahms)
Of Montreal – Aureate Gloom
Of Montreal has always made really memorable album art and this one is no exception.
Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
An aerial view of a retirement RV Resort in Mesa, Arizona.
Arca – Mutant
If the music on Mutant doesn’t give you nightmares, the album art surely will. (Artist: Jesse Kanda)