illustration | art | design
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TABAH — Album Jackets

Art Direction, Illustration, Watercolour, Coloured Pencils

TABAH —

Art Direction, Illustration, Watercolour, Coloured Pencils

Minneapolis indie rock band TABAH was releasing their new album, Symmetry Somewhere. Before the release, they wanted original artwork on fifty physical album jackets for a limited pre-release sale.

TABAH reached out to me to create original artwork for five album jackets. I was given two weeks. I'd listen to their new album, and create what came to mind. They saw my website and liked my artistic style, so wanted me to surprise them at the end. There were no specifications on medium, theme, etc. — the only constraint was the size of these jackets.

I'm glad they trusted me with my creative direction. I kicked off the project by listening to their whole album: their music was a mixture of jazz, funk, and indie rock. I proceeded to research different types of music album covers, ways sound is envisioned and abstracted, and thinking of different ways to visualize the emotions and style that Symmetry Somewhere evokes.

In the end, I went in two directions: jackets honouring individual musicians in the band, and jackets with more of an abstract style conveying the feeling of their music.

 

All of the resulting album jackets.

All of the resulting album jackets.

Individual Musicians

For the first two jackets, I wanted to show the actual band members themselves.

TABAH conveys an intimate, humble, and down-to-earth style — their social media pages show the enjoyment of everyday activities and playing music.

Hence, for the first album jacket, I decided to take a more intimate feel. I focused on the members’ facial expressions when performing. Each vertical slice is highly individualized, with each band member enjoying the music in their own way. The colour palette is a warm, pinkish purplish sunset tone that often appears in their social media posts for performances.

First album jacket — intimate, individualized, warm.

First album jacket — intimate, individualized, warm.

Second album jacket — mood, anonymity, mystery.

Second album jacket — mood, anonymity, mystery.

The next jacket also captures the band, but has an extremely different feel. Rather than highlighting an intimate close-up of the artists’ facial expressions, I wanted to show a communal band that sticks together. Everyone is a black-and-white semi-silhouette with no facial features, to create a unified sense of group belonging. I wanted this to capture a sense of humility, a bit of mood that their music produces, anonymity and mystery.

Abstracted Sound

For the other three jackets, I decided to go on a more abstract route, to convey a visual sense of the feel of Symmetry Somewhere.

TABAH's Symmetry Somewhere is a blend of jazz, indie, and rock. I decided to go on a more abstract route — using flowing jazzy leaves, as well as colourful, funky geometry.

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All of the album jackets, together, again.

All of the album jackets, together, again.