Thursday, June 28, 2007

Recent bird album covers 2 

There are lots of new animal and bird album cover designs around, so I thought I'd kick off this latest run with just birds. A couple are truly iconic images focused on the bird as an image, there are a few hummingbirds and owls, and quite a few with birds more as an incidental, sometimes two-dimensional part of the design.

The first two have a similar feel, in spite of very different intent and music styles. The Clubbers Guide is a favourite - bird as a simple, imaginative device engaged with the concept - as is Andrew Bird's snooty budgie, which captures the witty spark of his music well. As for that Wilco cover, that is pure genius, capturing a mood perfectly in the most stylish way possible - a picture that says so much, both in content and design, and a very powerful image. Those owls on The Terrible Twos are way cute - let me know if you're recording a CD and want a cartoony design along those lines (or even a naturalistic cover illustration) - I'd like to do one.

(Click on pic for closeup - list and short reviews below)

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Top row
  • Clubbers Guide to 2007 - Mixed by Kid Kenobi & Goodwill - 38 track latest definitive guide to upcoming dance music
  • Various Artists - The Coodabeen Champions Present Sunday Nightingales - ABC Radio collection of great female vox, from Laura Nyro and Lulu to Beth Orton and Joan as Policewoman
  • The Finches - Human Like a House - Acoustic Folk pop from female fronted San Francisco duo and friends
  • Wilco - Sky Blue Sky - Seventh album sees Tweedy, Stirratt and Co. re-embrace roots influences with a classic rock feel
    2nd row
  • Claude Vonstroke - Beware of the Bird - Innovative underground dance music, first album on this label
  • Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha - Third solo album and best yet, which is some achievement (they're all great!)
  • The Hard-Ons - Most People Are A Waste of Time - Return of iconic Sydney pop punk three piece
  • Uncle Ho - Roads to Roma - Broken beats and dub backdrops mash up electic mix of sounds from across the world
    3rd row
  • City City City - The Perimeter Motor Show - mostly instrumental with diverse instruments and a jammy, occasionally dissonant sound. I like this a lot!
  • Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males - Drowning in the Fountain of Youth - first full-length from local songwriter, inventive musically and lyrically
  • The Terrible Twos - If You Ever See an Owl - Something different from Matt Pryor (of Get Up Kids) and the New Amsterdams, a cool, hook-laden children's album!
  • Mr. Knightowl - Classics for the Calles - Hardcore gangtsa rap
    4th row
  • Rebel Meets Rebel - David Allan Coe (with Pantera) - Witty country metal featuring Dimebag Darrell's guitar
  • Belles Will Ring - Mood Patterns - Chiming and melodic debut recorded in our own Blue Mountains by a rising star band!
  • Einstellung - Wings of Desire - Birmingham four piece debut with hypnotic post-industrial sonic architecture
  • Miguel Miggs - Those Things - All star lineup fronting more organic dance-music approach by deep house DJ producer

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI thought about starting a separate category for female artists with birds in their hair, as demonstrated here by Sarah Blasko on What the Sea Wants the Sea Will Have and Emma Tonkin on The Anchor and the Albatross. These capture the vibe and themes of the respective albums perfectly, intelligently incorporating images of the artists themselves and the other elements (I hate albums that just have a boring photo of the artist on the cover).

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    Last but not least there is Hatebeak, the death metal band from Maryland, whose lead singer is an African grey parrot named Waldo (smart species, the African grey). The cover itself is evidently a tribute to Judas Priest. Waldo records separatelyfrom the band, due to a sensitivity to loud noises, so don't expect a tour. With the CD singles sold out, an album is in the works.

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  • Comments:
    Those are great album covers, the women's hair being my favorite.

    I agree with you, too, about how boring album covers are when it's just a photograph of the group. I prefer a little more creativity!
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