The Beauty of Painted Album Covers
ENTRY 10: 070 shake's metal-inspired album cover
entry 10!! we made it. thank you a whole shit lot for sticking around wherever the hell you jumped on board.
You Can’t Kill Me
070 shake put out her second studio album on june 3 (and it has one of the best album covers of the year).
she received some notoriety after some lovely features and vocal credits on kanye’s Ye album with “Ghost Town” and “Violent Crimes”, along with pusha t’s Daytona, and nas’ Nasir.
the cover was done by Italian artist, Nicola Samori. Similarly to Sterling Ruby, an artist who we reviewed having done pusha t’s It’s Almost Dry cover, Samori is a Blue-Chip represented artist.
i first saw this cover on instagram after a few different designers reposted it, and i was instantly hooked!! i’ve never listened to a 070 album, so this got me interested. i went back and listened to her 2020 debut, Modus Vivendi, featuring a gorgeous painted cover art by Sam Spratt.
spratt’s work is very stylistically identifiable and unique, you can always tell when a piece is done by him. having him on the first cover was a great choice, the depiction is futuristic, sprawling, colourful, and oddly hopeful.
contrasting with You Can’t Kill Me’s cover, its like a different singer altogether. i mean, this could easily pass as a metal cover—it reminds me of END’s punishing 2018 EP, From The Unforgiving Arms of God.
the right being done by Adam Burke for Nightjar Illustration, the composition, makeup, and formal techniques feel similar. i love the closeup shot of shake’s face here, and how her identity is fully washed away. this speaks to samori’s trademark style of conceptually and literally destroying major aspects of his art.
“…[his paintings are] purposefully destroyed to negate classical representation and question painting itself.” - Artsy.net bio
the color palette is very muted, featuring chilling tones of human flesh and the overwhelming darkness enveloping 070 shake.
this painting would fit so well into a show of samori’s work, as it shares a similar color set, composition, mood, and technique. it feels like they gave him a simple brief and let him run wild in the only way he knows how.
as a designer in the music space, my goal is for clients to come to me for my style, just like this, not just because i’m good at photoshop. so when i see artists used in this way, it fills me with hope. i know this will come with time, after gaining more positive notoriety in the industry.
the design peripherals
on to the peripherals for the album, all done by Eddie Mandell, these are just KILLERRR. the supplementary type work, the merch, and the overall art direction is just so so good, something i would do myself almost exactly!! weird lol. if you’re even a little familiar with my design work, you might see why i’d love this shit so much.
just so striking and bold, eddie didn’t dare forget the textures. if you zoom in, you can see the detail and consideration he took to make sure it feels tactile and believable. grey type on black will always have my heart, and the contrast in typefaces is perfectly executed. feels very Bryan Rivera-influenced, sort of Lady Gaga Chromatica in the type setting, i just adore it !!
the merch crushes too!!!
i’d wear the shit out of this, i may try to get my hands on that tan crewneck with the red type, absolutely hard as nails !! eddie, you MURKED this, the subtle thumbprint texture is so good!! it fits the personal vibe of the project, along with the humanistic and surreal cover art. i wish i made all of this!!!!!!!!!!
big hats off to you eddie, hopefully we cross creative paths sometime soon!!!
COVER ART + PAINTING
DESIGN + ART DIRECTION
hope you guys enjoyed this weeks entry, its been an absolutely STACKED week of releases lately, its actually been pretty overwhelming as a listener 😅
like ffs chill lol. what is the industry tryna do to us !!! its sad cuz these days albums already don’t have a long shelf life, so to sandwich them between other massive releases is just another layer of that :( either way, i’ve enjoyed listening and hope you have too !!