Like Art Like Music

Azuma Kazuma vy Sid Vashi

Like Art Like Music

At the crossroads of music and design, sits a singular frame with a mammoth task. From conveying the undertones, emotions and themes for an entire album worth of songs, to maintaining an arresting visual deemed worthy of a second look. Album arts don’t come as prints on record sleeves anymore but still have the responsibilities that record covers have always had. Much like its contents, the album cover has survived the end of a celebrated era and planted itself on a digital platform. And if iconic enough, it might just outlive the album itself. 

Here’s a look at a few appealing album arts that are both visually alluring, and reinforcing in their own ways. 

Azuma Kazuma by Sid Vashi

Artwork by Johnny Ganta

Electronic composer and multi-instrumentalist, Sid Vashi’s artwork derives inspiration from space, much like his music. Mutually agreeing on exploring this theme for the album designs along with art director and pop artist Johnny Ganta, Azuma Kazuma’s final look ‘served as inspiration to complete the album and develop the world even further for the live show.’ About the cover art’s unique style, Sid says, ‘The collage style was something I felt was especially appropriate given that I use samples in a way that is similar to how Johnny uses various illustrated pieces.’

Like Art Like Music Furniture Music I by Reels

Furniture Music I by Reels

Furniture Music I, Reels [Varoon Iyer]

Artwork by Zoya Mateen 

For music producer Varoon Iyer, the album is an ambient and rock - inspired accompaniment for his listener’s thoughts. A soundtrack to the stories we make up in our minds. He wanted an EP cover art that ‘encapsulates being deeply engrossed in thought/sound, almost a feeling of losing yourself in that moment with no care for the world around you.’ Artist Zoya Mateen helmed the designs that perfectly complement its eerie vibe through black and white illustrations. Varoon explains the reasons behind this - ‘since the music is very layered and coloured, yet simple, I didn't want much or in fact any colour on the artwork.’

Like Art Like Music Drones by Colorblind

Drones by Colorblind

Drones by Colorblind [Kartik Mishra]

Artwork by Sajid Wajid Shaikh

Drones' raw and depraved sensibilities are reflected almost pre-emptively in its album art. After working on a couple of rough mixes himself, Kartik was approached by self-taught visual artist, Sajid Wajid Shaikh who created the final cover art as part of his own audio-visual collaboration project. Talking about the cover art Kartik says, ‘It reflects the tension between two individuals and their failure to communicate with or contact each other, because of the cages around their head and this cage can be anything. And, they are ugly because well, humans are ugly (laughs)’

Like Art Like Music Motion/Emotion by Tangents

Motion/Emotion by Tangents

Motion/Emotion by Tangents

Artwork by _found [Sanjana and Sachin]

Cover art for the Bangalore-based band's upcoming album was made possible through the combined efforts of Sachin and Sanjana, part of the blankfound art collective. Much like the album, its cover attempts to tackle many themes, from mental illnesses to emotional struggles, while the music varies between dense and minimal sounds. Sanjana tells us how she’s tackled this - ‘Maybe when you look at the front cover, you relate motion to the sea and emotion to the diver. The connection is subliminal, but you get it. The minimalist and monochromatic visual treatment is something we felt echoed the music the best.’ 

Text Shristi Singh