Merry Listmas one and all! It’s the end of the year, a time to look back on all that the past twelve months had to offer. For us, that means reflecting on the music that most defined our 2019. Before we get into the sounds of the year however, we want to take a moment to appreciate the sights. There have been some stunning album covers this year, from the simple and understated to the wild and imaginative, so here are our favourites.
10. Black Futures – Never Not Nothing
Synth punk outfit Black Futures certainly make a good first impression with their debut album’s vibrant and striking cover. I love the contrast between the red and blue, and the fuzzy haze that obscures the finer details and makes it look like something to be viewed with classic 3D glasses.
9. Iamthemorning – The Bell
This Russian duo never fail to impress with their artwork. The way the cover finds so much beauty in such an otherwise bleak scene perfectly reflects the music contained within. Love how the dawn light catches the scene and the attention to detail in the roots.
8. Taylor Swift – Lover
Never thought we’d feature Swift on the site, never mind in our Top Ten lists, yet here we are! Sometimes a simple idea done well is all you need, and Lover delivers on that. It’s a charming shot of her against a background of gorgeous pastel colours. It’s wonderfully understated and endearing.
7. Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, part 1
While I wasn’t particularly enamoured with either of Foals’ new records musically speaking, they both had brilliant covers. While part 2 was a very tempting pick with plenty of details to explore, part 1 just pips it to the post with its eye-catching barrage of colour.
6. Etrange – Etrange
I mean… just look at it! This French prog metal outfit went all out for the cover of their debut album. It looks like the cover of a sci-fi novella from the 60s, or something from a comic book I read as a kid. It just immediately captures your imagination and appeals to your sense of adventure.
5. Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury
You’d be forgiven for thinking I’d added the poster for some new Mad Max movie in here by mistake. Depicting a muscle car speeding away from a fiery mushroom cloud, Sound & Fury takes the biscuit when it comes to sheer badassery. The only way it could possibly be cooler is if it came with a leather jacket.
4. Ihlo – Union
If you took the the stellar sci-fi of Etrange and threw in the gorgeous pastel palette of Lover for good measure, you may get something truly incredible like Union. It’s eerie and alien, yet also devastatingly pretty at the same time. I doubt I could imagine a world so stunning if I tried.
3. Moron Police – A Boat On The Sea
If we’re talking imagination however, Moron Police definitely take the gold in that regard. The longer you look at A Boat On The Sea, the more details you notice, the stranger it becomes. It’s a whimsical world without rules or limits, just the kind of marvellous nonsense you need in your life.
2. Low Roar – Ross
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum we find Low Roar’s Ross. It’s a very Earthly and familiar scene, but steeped in beauty and charm. It wouldn’t look at all out of place in a fancy gallery. Like a painting you’d hang on the wall to inspire yourself to find the beauty in the everyday.
1. Daniel Tompkins – Castles
If you can draw your gaze away from those arresting eyes you’ll find so much to admire in this cover. Its mix of nature and sculpture, veins interwoven with the vastness of space, smeared graffiti alongside cryptic symbols. There are so many elements that would make a brilliant cover in their own right all contained within this one piece.