the year in album art

13 Dec

Six of the year's best album covers, according to Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine‘s List of the Day yesterday was the year’s best album art. Scrolling through, I realized I’d seen a lot of the covers, even if I hadn’t heard the album, and I remembered being struck the first time I saw the art for Gloss Drop by Battles (No. 26) and Mastodon’s The Hunter (No. 6). Cut Copy’s Zonoscope was one I’d missed, but it definitely deserved its place at number five. And though King of Limbs lost its luster after a few listens, I did love its artwork, so I’m glad it made the list at seventeen.

The blue ribbon? Iron & Wine’s Kiss Each Other Clean, an album and cover that didn’t mesmerize me. Assuming I was missing something, I searched for some information on who made it. Turns out it was Iron & Wine’s own Sam Beam. He’s done several of the band’s covers, including The Shepherd’s Dog. He told the people at Design Sponge what his inspiration was and how he did it.

“Remember when we were kids and you’d color on a piece of paper with a crayon and you’d paint over that with black Tempera paint and then etch out the drawing? The idea was to do something like that, so I actually did a bunch of physical ones. But I kept fucking up, so I did it with, like, black ink and a brush—just drawing on white paper. And then we flipped it in the computer and then we were able to color it.”

Below is the album cover in question as well as the rest of my favorites.

#1. Iron & Wine's Kiss Each Other Clean

#5. Cut/Copy's Zonoscope

#6. Mastodon's The Hunter

#17. Radiohead's King of Limbs

#26. Battles' Gloss Drop

Check out Paste’s collection of album covers here.

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