A look back in fifteen striking images on the major visual trends of the recording year.
Funny situation for the creators of current record covers: the album format seems (slightly) obsolete, often shunned in favor of playlists suggested by the algorithms of streaming platforms, at a time when our culture and our modes of communication essentially go through the ‘image.
For artists, often frightened by the idea of seeing their visibility (and therefore their fame) dwindle, the photographs, videos and visuals created are all attempts to remain permanently in the public eye. The record cover therefore takes on a whole new dimension, especially at a time when the price of vinyl is exploding.
Virtual object of communication more than affective and/or aesthetic object? Probably in theory, but the reality is fortunately more complex, with some contemporary musicians using this medium to express their creativity, between taking a political position, staging and self-mockery. Here are our favorite covers of this year 2022.
15. The Woman Teatro Lucido
Over the years, the terrible children of French pop confirm the madness of their approach, always balancing grace and ridicule. In this new colorful stage, they say goodbye to yéyé dada to indulge in a great carnival of Latin and playful synth pop. Everything is marvelously announced by this cover to classify somewhere between Encanto and Kenneth Anger.
14. Dry Cleaning Stumpwork
A record store friend confirmed it to us recently: it’s the cover of Stumpwork who will have made his customers talk the most this year. A divisive visual work par excellence, this image provokes disgust and fascination, bringing back a bit of subversion in a post “post punk” scene that really needs it.
13. Wet Leg ST
There isn’t really anything extraordinary or fundamentally original in this Wet Leg record and yet the magic works, proof that rock’n roll is also sometimes a story of humanity and sincerity. This cover celebrates a form of sorority: two bodies united by their music call for immediate adhesion.
12. Lucrecia Dalt ¡Ay!
It was the year of the death of Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti that Lucrecia Dalt, Lynchian heroine of experimental music, released her most beautiful album (in every sense of the word), a mystical reincarnation of the aesthetic heritage of the American director. . On this disc, the Colombian creates a work out of time, playing an orchestral and sculptural pop magnified by arrangements reminiscent in places of the great Arthur Russell.
11. Prince Wally Moussa
Great French rap disc, melodic and narrative, Moussa is an important release, both for its author and for its fans. Introduced by a featuring with Feu! Surprisingly digestible Chatterton, this album is a renaissance in more ways than one. The cover entrusted to Fifou, responsible for countless French rap classics, soberly symbolizes the journey of an artist who has “been through hell”.
10. Rosalia Motomami and Tove Lo Dirt Woman
A portrait of the artist as a futuristic warrior? There is a bit of that in the covers of Rosalía and Tove Lo records. If the first won everything in its path with a hybrid and unifying album, the second probably remains Madonna’s most credible heiress, with a little twist ofempowerment contemporary.
9. Less paste
Formed by members of Raime and drummer Valentina Magaletti (Vanishing Twin, Tomaga), Moin have released an incredible electronic noise rock record, to be classified somewhere between Slint and Dj Screw. paste comes with a cover reminiscent of the huge William Eggleston to spoil nothing.
8. Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul Topical Dancer
This Topical Dancer is a fabulous record of physical and political club music. Produced by Soulwax, it celebrates mixed identities and the messenger power of music. Its cover sublimates the bodies and elegantly symbolizes the window opened on the world by the duo.
7. Steve Lacy Gemini Rights
Future funk, retro pop, lustful soul, psychedelic rock, Steve Lacy pecks right and left to write terribly catchy music, reminiscent of both Todd Rundgren and Prince. This self-portrait in collage corresponds perfectly to the music of this album, extremely simple on the surface and ultra-complex in reality.
6. Darkthrone Astral Fortress
Black metal in Les Inrockuptibles ? Yes and no. Because if Darkthrone is one of the cult formations of this scene, the duo now plays a repertoire closer to a carnivorous doom rock. This cover is a humorous take on classic Norwegian black metal desperate solipsism.
5. Astereotypy No guy looks like Brad Pitt in Drôme
Did you know? The best post-punk band of the moment was formed in a medical-educational institute. UFO sound and visual object to be classified somewhere between The Fall, Oulipo and Quentin Dupieux, this album exhales a raw and invigorating poetry.
4. Panda Bear and Sonic Boom Reset
When the collaboration between Panda Bear and Sonic Boom was announced, we had expected an album of modular synthesizers and trippy electronic music. Surprise: the duo of friends gave us one of the finest vocal pop records of recent years. One foot in the past, eyes in the sun, like this retro-futuristic cover of the most beautiful effect.
3. Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Like Bob Dylan before him, Kendrick Lamar, probably fully aware of the hopes of guidance placed in him by his fans, skilfully constructs his own mythology. Whether we see it as a marketing calculation or not, we can only salute the beauty of the images produced to accompany his music. This shot with its obvious Christian symbolism is also shot through with a disturbing intimacy. He evokes the different facets of the superstar, prophet and father, with a gun in his belt. A beautiful parable for a rapper who here reaches an impressive artistic maturity.
2. Kudlam Precipice Fantasthere Left
Our junkyard David Bowie hadn’t released a record in eight years. His return does not disappoint and wonderfully recounts the life of an outsider artist in these troubled times. As simple as it is powerful, this image which hesitates between archaeological and suicidal temptations is one of the strongest of the year.
1. Rachika Nayar Heaven Come Crashing
Unknown to us, the musician Rachika Nayar excels in an emotional music that owes as much to the drone as to electronica, noise and emo ambient. She is also one of the architects of an inspiring guitar revival. Heaven Come Crashing is his most cinematic work, magnified here by this staging of two bodies clinging to each other in the chaos.
We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding material
The most beautiful album covers of 2022
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