20 Album Covers Perfect For Displaying On The Wall
With records, so much of the fun is the album art. From the subtle abstract to cartoonish illustrations to bold portraits to the grotesque, the artwork can vary as widely as the music held within. But when it comes to displaying on your wall, some record artwork really stands out. Here are 20 of our favorites. Side note, it wouldn't be on this list if we didn't also love the music. So just consider that a given.
Jubilee - Japanese Breakfast: I remember when this record came out, I saw the infamous artwork popping up everywhere. and for good reason. It is gorgeous. Fun fact, the cover features persimmons: a fruit native to East Asia.
Jubilee - Japanese Breakfast
The New Abnormal - The Strokes: It got them the grammy for best album, Rick Rubin produced, and it is a great record. On top of that, the artwork is bananas cool. According to Wikipedia, it features the "1981 painting Bird on Money by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat".
The New Abnormal - The Strokes on the bottom right
Z - My Morning Jacket: As whacky a cover as it is that the frontman's name is Jim James (aka James James). Tremendous record with artwork that will keep drawing you in, leaving you with more questions than answers each time. "I thought it set a good tone about the world within us and going inside and being more within yourself, is how I took it..." - Jim James talking about the artwork.
Z - My Morning Jacket on the left
Pacific Breeze - Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976–1986: When an album's cover matches what it sounds like, it is to be celebrated. So celebrations are in order for this fantastic compilation of Japanese City Pop. This record is a must-have for many reasons, but the cover art is at least one of them.
Pacific Breeze - Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976–1986
Divine Fits - Divine Fits: So they only put out one record. Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel returned to Spoon, Boeckner Sam Brown went back to doing other projects and Canada stuff, BUT the album the made together is tremendous. And the bright yellow with that vibrant maraschino cherry red, the drama is almost too much to take.
Divine Fits - Divine Fits featured at the bottom left above the speaker
Stand For Myself - Yola: Yola is glorious to listen to. She radiates pure power and in a joyful way, even when what she is singing about is...not so much. The cover of Stand For Myself matches and basically exudes energy. Hard to pull off purple, but this album cover does it.
Stand For Myself - Yola at the bottom right of the record wall
The Slow Rush - Tame Impala: These kooky 'stralians always have fun album artwork that matches their vibey, psychedelic feel, but Slow Rush is a favorite. The bold red paired with the sands of time overtaking the inside of an abandoned structure...very fun to stare at while the record plays. Also, according to Creative Review: "Photographer Neil Krug and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker travelled to an abandoned mining town in the Namibian desert to shoot the cover art for The Slow Rush."
The Slow Rush - Tame Impala on the bottom left above the speaker
Mordechi - Khruangbin: Khruangbin always have fun record artwork, but someting about this colorful illustration featuring an outdoor landscape, wildlife, astronomical elements with its unique color pallet, it just draws you in. I love to see it up on the wall.
Mordechi - Khruangbin on the top right
Valentine - Snail Mail: Such a simple portrait, but the suit, the ruffles, the moody red, and the "fuck off, or don't" face, this record looks great on the wall. Also, when you see it, you guess what her speaking voice is like. And guess what? You're right. She's incredible. The record is fantastic. The artwork is just right.
Valentine - Snail Mail
My Morning Jacket - My Morning Jacket: So yea, My Morning Jacket gets two mentions. Honestly, it is taking great restraint to not give them a third or even forth. They do album art well. Generally I am not so into this style of art, but something about this makes it an exception. When this is on the wall, I always find myself lighting up and often staring at it. It draws the eye and I like it, even though I can't explain fully why. Oh, and it is MMJ, so it is a great spin.
My Morning Jacket - My Morning Jacket at the bottom center
You Might Be Happy Someday - The Reds Pinks and Purples: Ever since I learned that Glenn Donaldson, the one behind it all, refers to their music as "Fog Pop", I have been extra into them. And their album covers all feature classic yet simple San Francisco architecture and street views. The color pallets are spectacular. So throw them up on the wall, please. Also, this record in particular is so achingly repeatable, it should be illegal.
You Might Be Happy Someday - The Reds Pinks and Purples
In The Game - Mick Flannery and Susan O'Neill: This album cover is simple and classic the way black and white should be. But, after you listen to The Game a few dozen times (oh and you will if you hear it), Mick and Susan's personalities on the cover evolve. They start to take on the characters in the songs. They start to almost talk to you. Or perhaps I had too much coffee that day. Either way, it is fun to look them in the eye as they tear your heart out of your chest. It is the least they can do.
In The Game - Mick Flannery and Susan O'Neill
The Highwomen - The Highwomen: Another black and white instant classic featuring this super group. Somehow, these super human individuals assemble to make more than the sum of their parts, and we're here for it. You want to see this perfect assembly while taking in the music. So up on the wall it goes.
The Highwomen - The Highwomen
Broken Bells - Broken Bells: The opening of this record is unmistakable and possesses time traveling qualities. It is unmistakable and it means you are about to go on a journey. Similarly, seeing this strange three dimensional geometric odyssey triggers the same response. Plus it is very simple and pleasant to take in, with its pale pink offset by the dark background. A touch hypnotic? Up on the wall it goes. Fun act: it was a tribute to a cover of sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Future Me Hates Me - The Beths: New Zealand biased aside, this record and The Beths in general are treasures. So the music is great, but I've always been drawn to the cover art and the title. "Future Me Hates Me", what could be more true as we stumble from one mistake to the next leaving our future selves to pay a debt they can't possibly afford. The water color, the colors, the mirror self that is clearly furious - it is all working. So it looks great on the wall.
Future Me Hates Me - The Beths
Lemonade - Beyonce: What a record. WHAT a record. To take such personal events, that were so wildly public, and turn it into this music...astounding (in case you need reference). And this iconic album art somehow says it all. It's a
Lemonade - Beyonce
4 - RTJ: For us sheltered dumb dumbs, Run The Jewels are responsible for educating us on what run the jewels means (slang for robbing someone aka a stick up). So the symbol (a gun pointed, a hand giving up the goods) that graces each cover, always evolving, always hits. But 4 was a level up. Bold pink with Fifth Element style futurism...it's bold, it matches the energy of the music, it's perfect.
4 - RTJ
Gimme Fiction - Spoon: Can't find much about this album cover other than 3 things: Shot (and "sort of commissioned) by Sean McCabe, it depicts Little Red Riding Hood, and it is, or at least was in 2015, Britt Daniel's (singer, songwriter, frontman) favorite album artwork of the band's discography.
Gimme Fiction - Spoon
St. Cloud - Waxahatchee: Just Katie Crutchfield in all her glory wearing a flowy blue dress on top of a pale blue Ford truck filled with roses. Simple, calming, interesting to look at - just a great shot that looks excellent on the wall.
St. Cloud - Waxahatchee
Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: A classic record cover from a classic outfit. This band looks like a group of very slick assassins who have decided to hang it up and go all in on the band they started as a cover on a job. Okay, my imagination may have run away with me a bit there, but they look really cool is what I'm saying. And this is an all time great record. So they look like they mean business, and they do.
Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
So there ya go. Some records that sound amazing and look awesome on your wall. And there are plenty more where that came from, of course. That's the thing - most records tend to just look awesome on the wall. It's the best, right? What are your favorite pieces of album art to display?
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