We’ll be starting this year’s list season with a brand new one. They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but often album covers can say a lot about the music within. Many times I’ve bought a record simply because the artwork has drawn my eye every time I see it, and not once have I come away disappointed. As great as these albums are however, we’ll be ranking them solely on how eye-catching, unique and memorable the cover is.
10. Typhoon – Offering
One of the more simple designs on this list, but all the more powerful for it. The fierce inferno rising up into the sky, illuminating the stoic silhouette. The cold detached feel of the black and white at odds with the destructive scene. There’s an unnerving mystery to it just begging you to investigate.
9. KitFai – The Things You Left Us
Such a fantastical scene, and yet at the same time you could almost believe it was real. A hidden wonder of the world somewhere. I love the texture of the water and the way the colours dance across the ceiling. You just want to jump right in and follow the figure in the red dress and see where this cave of wonders leads.
8. Kindo – Happy However After
It’s hard not to be drawn to such vibrant display. It’s enough to brighten up your day just by looking at it. Surreal art is always a plus, as is Japanese style painting, so combining the two is a major win in my book. The cover itself is enough to provide a premise for a new Studio Ghibli film.
7. God is an Astronaut – Epitaph
Equal parts dark and delightful, this gorgeous gothic cover really tells a story and plays into your imagination. A gateway born of black wings to take a solitary figure from his grey empty world into the light beyond. Who wouldn’t be lured in to a tale like that?
6. Blanket – How To Let Go
Readers with thalassophobia may want to keep scrolling. This cover, with a swimmer immersed in the murky ocean, is another of this year’s simple yet effective covers. I love how you can see the paint strokes in the swirls of the inky depths.
5. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
It’s like a renaissance painting brought to life with fairy magic. I love how they blur into one and are shrouded in a soft pink glow. You could put a gilded frame around this and hang it up in the Louvre and it wouldn’t look at all out of place.
4. Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – Blackout Cowboy
Where do I even start with this one? There’s just so much to see in this vast fantastical landscape. From the winding expanse of the desert dunes, to the mountains that rise above it, and of course the menacing orb in the sky, full of flames and ghostly figures.
3. The Paper Kites – On The Train Ride Home
Of all the covers on this list, this is the one most grounded in realism, but it injects such wonder into an otherwise mundane scene. The light and colour here helps find beauty in the every day. The Paper Kites released two albums this year with similar style covers, but this was my favourite of the two.
2. Aesthesys – Achromata
It’s a mysterious floating mountain with waterfalls of molten lava coming off of it, do I really need to say more than that? Just look at it! You can just imagine being the solitary figure standing before it and being utterly awestruck at the majesty of it all.
1. All The Luck In The World – A Blind Arcade
I love the concept, all the little snapshots of our world captured within the antlers of some magical deer. I adore the watercolour style, it’s something I wish more albums did. It caught my eye right at the beginning of the year and has stayed with me all this time, and so stands out as a worthy winner.