Some artists are prolific, churning out project after project at a speed that leaves onlookers wondering about their superhuman pace. Some have a much slower process -- painstaking in intricate detail -- and Eric Beltz is one of the latter. A drawing teacher at University of Santa Barbara, Beltz is a...

Adorning the cover of Sóley's new record, Ask The Deep, is a portrait painted by Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, with Sóley's face smeared about like the things of nightmares, like a horror film incarnate. Upon first glance, this visual seems inconsistent with one's first impressions of Icelandic musician Sóley Stefánsdóttir -- but...

Album Covers of the Year 2014
In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we've crafted for you.
O'Death - ROAM Music Video
In the music video for O'Death's latest single, "ROAM", mismatched body parts from sixteen people contribute to tunnelvision of a most peculiar kind. Psychedelic experiments usually seen on full-color blast are given carnivalesque life through black and white articulation, as viewers take a swirling ride past grim lyrics and disembodied structures. Created by band member Gabe Darling, the experience of this music video is perhaps best summarized using his own description; upon viewing it, "You're just a tourist in this fleshy-hell-party." O'Death's latest record, Out of Hands We Go, is out now on Northern Spy Records, and can be streamed in its entirety on CMJ.com. You can also catch them on their national tour now, with a series of west coast dates beginning in the Pacific Northwest with Stone Jack Jones! Full tour dates below, along with the music video stream and a Q&A with Darling, in which the humor behind his "fleshy-hell-party"-crafting mind truly shines through.
To trace one's own path from infancy to adulthood can sometimes mean ascribing new meaning to past events. It can mean uncovering moments that seemed innocuous at the time of their happening, only to discover later that they were, in fact, profoundly moving. Nature and ritualistic dance, two prime inspirations for Southern California artist Nathan Hayden, came to him down the pipeline of experience, in the form of significant life events he can now place importance upon as an adult. These moments, coupled with Hayden's curiosities towards the world-at-large, make him an artist that is ever-synthesizing and ever-seeking, eager to experiment and follow his many multidisciplinary whims.
Nathan Hayden Artist Interviewwhat was meant to be here was no longer, 2014, ink on industrial felt
"I'm just trying to access the possibilities of other things, and in the same way that I look at art throughout history and nature for little pieces of those other realms, I'm hoping that I can be a part of that process and for people to get a peek into other realms by looking at my stuff, that might bring about stuff that I can't even imagine." - Nathan Hayden
Woman's Hour - Conversations LP
Listeners first encounter Conversations, the debut record by United Kingdom musicians Woman's Hour, through striking monochrome visual imagery. Black and white can be seen in everything from their album artwork and press photos to their music videos, serving not only to unify the band's music, but to incorporate their underlying interests and philosophies as well. Responsible for their visual branding is Frank and Jane, a collaboration between Woman's Hour frontwoman Fiona Jane Burgess and artist Oliver Chanarin. This article features a Q&A with Burgess and all-encompassing look at the visual collateral connected to the record, to demonstrate how the experience Woman's Hour is crafting is truly an interdisciplinary and thoughtful one.
Woman's Hour - Conversations Music Video

 

Folklorists like to romanticize blues music as being a pure expression of culture, but recorded blues music was carefully marketed to its intended audience from its very beginning. As early as the 1920s, music aimed at African-Americans was labeled as "race music", and the best way to advertise it was...