Utah band, Desert Noises contacted me after a brief encounter at a music festival in Denver. I was super excited to get their phone call as I'd been loving their music for quite some time. The original plan for their album art was a bit of an homage to Georges Méliés (the amazing film maker from late 1800's early 1900's). I had built up a large set of hundreds of hand cut out stars and giant black backdrops. I had huge polyfill clouds and a wonderful model. The idea was a man floating in space drilling a hole through the universe. However, after the shoot, we all decided that the photos didn't depict the model as "lost" enough in space. Given the time frame that we had to put out the album art, we had to go with a second idea.
This second idea consisted of taking hundreds of iPhone pictures supplied by the band and collaging them together to tell a story. I threw in some scans of old film photos I had around and a bunch of animal stock I had gathered at numerous times through the years, and viola! we had some cool looking art!
Each piece has a playful element while still holding a heavier meaning about being a touring musician nowadays. My great friend (and fellow designer) Greg Carr, says it best; "It's like driving through Iowa. There are so many corn fields. Just millions of little yellow cobs trying to get your attention as you drive by." As a touring musician, it's becoming increasingly harder and harder to make a difference as your voice is lost in the sea of music. However, when a great band like this comes along, I have no doubt that everyone that hears Desert Noises will be overwrought with the feeling of joy and power that this wonderful traveling band carries with them.
Desert Noises + 27 Ways
You Me & Apollo + Places
Faceman + Talk Talk Talk
I've been lucky enough that most of my clients have become great friends. Faceman is now one of my great friends and it was this project's fault. We've done many other massive endeavors together since - see "Wild and Hunting" video here.
His music has an element of whimsical carelessness that I've always loved in musicians like Deer Tick, and the late Lou Reed. Combined with a sense of altered rock n' roll, Faceman produces some of the newest sounds I've heard in a long time. For the album art, I really wanted to show some of the struggle that Steve (Faceman) goes through when writing songs and performing.
When the band started out, Faceman would play behind a large metal head casing that would project movies on the wall and hide his face. This was due to a massive case of stage fright. I feel like whenever I talk to Faceman about new songs or performing, he's going through a massive internal struggle figuring out if it's even worth putting out into the world. While I think it's AMAZING stuff, I totally know that thought process. It feels like you're always just beating yourself up....hence this artwork. We all feel like we're questioning what we're doing at one point or another. That feeling combined with the title "Talk Talk Talk," led to artwork based around an internal interrogation sequence.
Glowing House + Days Run Out
Glowing House has a wonderfully unique and soft, yet powerful sound. The folks in this band are equally kind, genuine, giving, humble, and driven. Their music is accessible and truly wonderful.
For their album art I went out though the entire state of Colorado to multiple towns and got 53 photos to cut out and stick together. I wanted to make sure I didn't have to do much in the way of shadows on photoshop and wanted to get lighting and sections as natural as I could for the project, so it meant going out around the same time every day for about a month to gather the photos. There was a killer abandoned mine outside Idaho Springs, CO that became the foundation of the image. Walking down a frozen, slick, wintery mountainside with busted shoes to grab the photo was certainly an experience...
This "Glowing House" gives a feeling of loneliness with a dark, writhing beauty from the smoke. The album features true talent and brilliant songwriting. With a hovering fog of lush sounds, moments can stir in or break through and thus create a dynamic, powerful range of feel making Glowing House a true musical gem.
Finnders & Youngberg
Finnders & Youngberg are an AMAZING bluegrass band from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Absolutely gorgeous voices, immaculate playing, wonderful uplifting lyrics, and personalities that could warm the coldest hearts. I feel so honored to know these fine folks, and I'm lucky to have worked with them on such a powerful record.
Due to the genuine quality of the music and pure intimacy from a gorgeous sound recording (Aaron Youngberg - swingfingers studio), I decided I wanted to shoot everything with film. The title, "I Don't Want Love You Won't Give Until I Cry," made me drive towards a warm feeling of lost love. We chose several articles of depression that best represented how simple it is to fall in love with the little things about a person. We chose left over clothing, a ring, a simple tea cup, a camera, a record player and records, and a bottle of wine. We then gave the objects an intimate feeling and background story through simple polaroid photos.
Boulder Acoustic Society + Champion of Disaster
Boulder Acoustic Society has sort of a rough-and-tumble folk sound. Armed with top notched musicians and a ton of energy, the band always teetered on the cusp of being über dark in delivery and bright in presence. Through that, I wanted to grab kind of an old horror movie green for their shots and surround all of their art in a surreal idealism.
The cover image is the drummer, Scott Aller. I had a thought for about a year of making makeshift wings for someone to wear and putting them on top of a mountain or top of a building. I always loved the concept of shooting a hero about to dive from the highest height to save a town or person or whatever. He'd have obviously broken and worthless wings that can't even save himself after he jumps. There's something in that kind of dedication to an idea. Boulder Acoustic Society always seemed to have that kind of faith in their product. Like, even if their wings were torn and battered, they'd still have hope in delivery and dive with the utmost power to try to deliver it.