Album Art Gems: Part 5

Welcome to the grand finale of the Album Art Gems series! If you haven’t been keeping up, here are links to the firstsecondthird, and fourth installations. This has been such a fun blog series for me and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

1. Negro Swan – Blood Orange

I literally can never get tired of looking at this cover. It is just absolutely exquisite. The way the winged model is posing out of the car is so elegant, and I love the minimal, organic color palette.

2. Currents – Tame Impala

I know this is very basic of me, but I couldn’t NOT include “Currents.” It’s an excellent allusion to the psychedelic covers so often found on 60s and 70s album art, which Tame Impala tends to channel in their music.


3. Wolf – Tyler, the Creator

In Part 4, I mentioned “IGOR,” but how could I only highlight just one Tyler album? The “Wolf” cover perfectly encapsulates his ridiculous and dark style of production. I love how it reminds me of a cheesy high school portrait from the 80s. The inhaler in his hand really tops it all off.


4. Melodies – Jan Hammer Group

This album is a recent discovery of mine, but I was blown away by the colors and composition of the cover. The ways in which the photos zoom in and are made up of multicolored line patterns are a type of unique that is rarely found in modern album art.


5. Getz/Gilberto – João Gilberto & Stan Getz

Last but not least, one of my favorite albums of all time, we have “Getz/Gilberto.” Seeing this cover is so nostalgic for me and brings back such fond memories of my childhood. The colors remind me of the warmth of a Brazilian jazz club in the 60s, which is always where I imagine myself while listening to it.

Happy listening!

– DJ butter


Album Art Gems: Part Four

Here we are again! Get ready for this week’s installment of Album Art Gems. If you haven’t been keeping up, here are the links to the first, second, and third parts.

1. Presence – Led Zeppelin

Quite a different energy than their other album covers, “Presence” is often ignored in comparison to their more popular LPs (but “Tea for One” is actually my favorite song currently). However, I find this cover really endearing, especially when I researched the meaning behind it. The cover shows a suburban family observing a strange, unidentifiable object in the middle of the table. On the inside of their vinyl covers, there are even more images of happy suburban people holding, staring at, or touching the same object. According to the band, the object was supposed to represent the Led Zeppelin’s place in society, and how they had a powerful yet mysterious presence in the world.

2. IGOR – Tyler, the Creator

This series would be incomplete without mentioning Tyler, the Creator’s most recent album. It is such an amazing visualization for the content of the album. Tyler looks rough, lost, and almost scary his collage-like portrait, but is contrasted by a bright pink background. To me, this is a great representation of the broken-hearted lyrics of “IGOR” and how they’re juxtaposed with happy, upbeat rhythms.

3. Copulating Rhythm, Volume One – Blues Compilation

This is a tad bit NSFW, but it was recommended by our lovely supervisor, Jamie. “Copulating Rhythm” is a blues and jazz compilation featuring artists like Lil Johnson, Rosetta Howard, Bo Carter, and many more with a rare collection of huggin’ and lovin’ songs (for adult listeners is right). Nevertheless, the colors and design of this cover are exquisite. (Apologies for the very small picture)

4. Horses – Patti Smith

If you haven’t read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, go to the bookstore and pick it up right now. It is a beautiful, poetic autobiography by Smith and the amazing connection she had with Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential photographers of our time. The book describes the exact moment when this photo was taken as Smith was entering the world of rock and Mapplethorpe was blossoming in his creative work.

5. Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I know, I know, it’s bad to give Jimi two features in this series, but I just can’t help myself. This album was the trio’s first, and my personal favorite. “Foxy Lady,” “Love or Confusion,” AND “Third Stone From the Sun”?? It’s amazing how so much genius can be in one album. The typography on this cover alone represented an entire cultural movement and is recognized even today as a masterpiece of letterform art. The colors, the fisheye, WOW. I could geek out about this album forever.

– DJ butter


Album Art Gems Pt. 3

Without further ado, here is this week’s installment of my favorite album covers of all time:

1.     Midnight Snack – HOMESHAKE

I think I’ve talked about this before in another blog post, but I love how this album art looks like the “Goodnight Moon” book cover, which was one of my favorite books growing up (fun fact: I would cry every time my mom read it to me because it made me so happy). It really fits in with the whole LP’s vibe, which feels very woozy and dreamy. The hand painted look in this piece feels delightfully playful and cozy.

2.     Pregnant With Success – Junglepussy

Junglepussy is honestly such a goddess, and this cover really captures her power. This portrait of her is composed so nicely, and I love how she simultaneously blends in with the elevator yet contrasts it with her gorgeous hair. The way the florescent lighting makes her face glow is exquisite. 

3.     BUSH – Snoop Dogg

This is another mm *chef’s kiss* cover. Produced by Pharrell, “BUSH” has a retro funk feel to it that complements Snoop’s smoothness perfectly. The simple surrealist-like feel this album cover gives off with the perfectly shaped bushes and bright bluedog is so great.

4.     Steve Lacy’s Demo – Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy consistently gives us amazing album covers, but this one is my personal favorite. The colors are fantastic and I love how the photo of him is juxtaposed on top of this bright pink mystery material. The way he stands between his bass and guitar is so casual yet speaks so powerfully to his talent on both.

5.     blkswn – Smino

Wow! Smino really overdid himself on “blkswn.” Not only is the actual content exquisite, but the cover art is too. The colors are divine and so is the composition. I love the way the album title is written on his comb, and the hands doing his hair seem to have personality and an air of movement to them. Keep it comin’ Smino.

– DJ butter


The Saw’s Favorite Album Covers

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw and I have a very fun and exciting post for you today! I will be listing my top 10 favorite album covers! I think album covers can be a really cool way for bands to show off what ~~vibes~~ they want their record to give off. Depending on the genre (for metal in particular), album covers can show you what type of style a band is. I love it when bands put in a lot of time and effort on the album covers, because visual representation can be very beneficial! My dad, the “OG Metalhead,” told me that when was my age, he would go to the record store and he would find albums with the coolest album cover and band names and buy it. This is how he found new bands and I think that is a really cool way to find different artists to expand your own musical discography.

Let’s get into my top 10 favorite album covers!! This list is in no particular order, these are all equally, badass.

1.     Obituary – Inked in Blood (2014)

2. Cannibal Corpse – Eaten Back To Life (1990)

3. Whitechapel – A New Era Of Corruption (2010)

4. Pig Destroyer – Prowler in the Yard (2015)

5. Impaled – The Dead Still Remain Dead (2013)

6. Marilyn Manson – Holly Wood (2000)

7. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (2015)

8. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

9. KoRn – KoRn (1994)

10. Cryptopsy – None So Vile (1996)

What are some of your favorite album covers?

Stay Metal,



Album Art Gems: Part One

One of my greatest loves, that I really could talk about forever, is album cover designs. Get ready. This is going to be a weekly series of my favorite album covers of all time, simply because there’s too many to fit into only one blog post.

I am a graphic design major and designer for WKNC, so you can imagine that aesthetics is very important to me. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I think this foolish. Who wants to read a book that’s title is in Comic Sans? Not I.

Album covers help to communicate a lot about an artist and the message behind their music. There is something so beautiful to me about having one type of art inform another, and album art does just that. One of my favorite things to do is peruse Nice Price Records on Hillsborough St. and find a record with the coolest cover I can find. Even if it’s in completely random genre section that I would normally never listen to, this has been a great way to find design inspiration and new music.

Both a mixture of classics and newbies, here’s my top five for this week’s installment of Album Art Gems:

1.     Freetown Sound – Blood Orange

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know that I am a big Dev Hynes fan. His album covers are always so beautiful, but “Freetown Sound” is the most standout to me. The colors are divine, and it pairs wonderfully with his album’s message to highlight Black relationships and love.

2.     Axis: Bold as Love – Jimi Hendrix

I LOVE JIMI HENDRIX. He was a musical god and his genius on the guitar and as a poet is timeless. I had the “Axis” cover as a poster in my freshman dorm for an entire year. With Eastern philosophy and psychedelics gaining popularity in America right around the time “Axis” was released, the Jimi Hendrix Experience reflected this cultural revolution in this insane album art.

3.     DHL (Single) – Frank Ocean

Frank is known for his simplicity and anonymity. To be entirely honest, I have no idea what’s going on in this cover, but I like it a lot. The type design for DHL is really fun and interesting, along with the colors overall.

4.     Vacation in Hell – Flatbush Zombies

This album cover is mm *chef’s kiss*. FBZ are the dark, expressive rap group we all need right now, yet this cover really contrasts their normal undead vibes. During an interview, they said that this shoot was scheduled on a day when it was completely overcast and rainy. Just when they were about to call it quits as the day was ending, the sun burst through the clouds and they were able to take the perfect shot.

5.     Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones

Finally, we have a great classic from the Rolling Stones. Like the “DHL” single, I really have no idea what’s happening, but whatever it is, it’s working. If you look closely, the bottom layers of the “cake” seem to be made up of a bike tire, a pancake, a clock, and a film reel canister. The colors and strange simplicity of this cover will always make it one of my favorites. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did.

Tune in!

– DJ butter