From licensed paintings to grandiose new commissions, April brought the heat.
Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):
Immersion is a key element across successful album covers and April's selections seems to understand that quite well. From Zbigniew M. Bielak's multidimensional homage to Larry Carroll to Filip Ćustić's tantalizing depictions for JULIA STONE's Sixty Summers, the illustrations below draw you in prior to even engaging with the material, promising labyrinthine experiences that surely deliver. For example, MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA's masterful The Million Masks of God is elevated by Mike Dempsey's multifaceted prowess. Simon J. Curd makes vivid use of his color palette for the galactic mathrock display that is LAST HYENA's How Soon Is Mars? while Robbie C. Ward defines excellence with one of this year's top album covers for UNGFELL's Es Grauet. Employing an exquisite use of stop motion photography is Ryan Draybuck, immaculately capturing the moving nature of SMALL BLACK's Cheap Dreams. If you fancy some psych laden indie rock, Rivka Ravede welcomes you into the mouth of the devil for SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE's Entertainment, Death, a truly tantalizing release.
It's important to note that not all of the selected covers were a result of the typical commission process. Instead, there were a couple, specifically SPECTRAL LORE's Ετερόφωτος and ORYX' Lamenting A Dead World, that sported existing paintings by the likes of Alessandro Sicioldr and Ettore Aldo Del Vigo. Despite the music being crafted years after the paintings themselves, it's as is they came to be in unison, which speaks further to the universality of art. Licensing paintings for covers isn't a new phenomenon, but it's one we're seeing fairly often and is quite welcome given the ability it has to introduce listeners to new creatives that they wouldn't otherwise have known about. Whether it be these licensed covers or the organic commissions, there's much to love and we invite you to scroll and listen.
Here are the best album covers of April 2021:
SPECTRAL LORE - Ετερόφωτος (Alessandro Sicioldr) | Listen
LAST HYENA - How Soon Is Mars? (Simon J. Curd) | Listen
NEKROMANTHEON - Visions of Trismegistos (Zbigniew M. Bielak) | Listen
JULIA STONE - Sixty Summers (Filip Ćustić) | Listen
MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA - The Million Masks of God (Mike Dempsey) | Listen
UNGFELL - Es Grauet (Robbie C. Ward) | Listen
ORYX - Lamenting A Dead World (Ettore Aldo Del Vigo) | Listen
THE ANOINTING MAELSTROM - Swirling Herald of Death (Procatfox) | Listen
SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE - Entertainment, Death (Rivka Ravede) | Listen
SMALL BLACK - Cheap Dreams (Ryan Draybuck) | Listen
As always, thank you for supporting artists responsible for enriching our lives with their creativity. We remain sane because of it. Stay tuned to Heaviest of Art on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for your art and music needs throughout the day.