Going back as far as I can remember I have always enjoyed holding the cover and losing myself in the art while listening to the album. These paintings and photos really captured the moods of the music and continued to catch my eye with each listen. This is why I will never be able to embrace the digital download. You only get part of the story.
'Pretty Decent Swimmers' by Northern Portrait
Photo: Carla Acevedo-Blumenkrantz
Note: The Beverly Hills Hotel turned 100 last year. To celebrate, the legendary spot hosted several live poolside performances by the water ballet entertainment company Aqualillies. This photo was taken there.
'Slow Summits' by The Pastels
Painting: Annabel Wright
'Bankrupt!' by Phoenix
Illustration: Ben Garvie
'Songs Cycled' by Van Dyke Parks
Painting: Kenton Nelson
Note: The art of 'Songs Cycled' is the best I have seen this year. Each song has an accompanying painting by artists like Klaus Voorman, Ed Ruscha and Frank Holmes. The artists also share their insights next to the lyrics of each tune. You could look at this booklet for hours.
'Desire Lines' by Camera Obscura
Painting: Daniel Ablitt