We've finally made it to the bitter end of 2020, and believe it or not, human beings are still making amazing art in the midst of crisis and a pandemic. After a five-year hiatus, our Album Covers of the Year feature is back with a deep dive of artwork from...

As Record Store Day celebrates its 6th anniversary, with vinyl sales posting decade high numbers in 2012, there's no reason to think the yearly event won't continue to expand in 2013, making the dash for collectors and fans alike an even more chaotic experience if you're looking to score the most rare or exciting vinyl. Here are some of the releases we're most excited about. Now if only we had the bank accounts to match our wish lists. View the complete list of recommended releases.

Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear

As far as superstar collaborations go, this year's Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear 12" is as exciting as they get. Not only do the three artists bridge decades worth of musical output in their own right, their creativity and collective mastery has surely inspires countless others. This Warp Records package finds Jaar remixing Brian Eno's "Lux 2" and Grizzly Bear's "Sleeping Ute." All 2,000 of these 12" double A-sides should go quick, as this is no doubt one of the most anticipated releases of the event. VINYL INFORMATION Designed and printed by Edwin Pickstone & Ivor Williams on a FAG Control 525 Swiss-built semi-automatic cylinder proofing press in Glasgow. Type was a mix of 35 line sans condensed and 50 lined grotesque super-condensed and was left 80% black, deliberately broken print to echo the sentiment of remixes carrying the remnants of the original.

 

BRIGHT LIKE NEON LOVE TRACKLIST A1 Time Stands Still A2 Future A3 Saturdays A4 Saturdays (Reprise) A5 Going Nowhere B1 DD-5 B2 That Was Just A Dream B3 Zap Zap B4 The Twilight B5 Autobahn Music Box B6 Bright Neon Payphone B7 A Dream

Cut Copy

Before the release of In Ghost Colours in 2008, the thought that Australian electro poppers Cut Copy would soon become a transcendent and influential dance act seemed impossible. It was only their second record in four years, and their debut Bright Like Neon Love was a faded memory, only ever charting in their native country. But it was a critical darling of sorts, heralded as something akin to Daft Punk, The Human League and New Order. And while Record Store Day won't propel Bright Like Neon Love to soaring sales numbers, this year's reissue of the 2004 record will hopefully cement the album's legacy to a newer generation almost a decade later. 4,000 of these 12" long players will be pressed and released by Modular.

 

TAME IMPALA EP TRACKLISTING A1 Desire Be Desire Go A2 Skeleton Tiger A3 Half Full Glass Of Wine B1 Forty One Mosquitoes Flying In Formation B2 Slide Through My Fingers B3 Wander

Tame Impala

Tame Impala's Innerspeaker burst onto the scene in 2010 with it's crunchy, psychedelic guitar work and overall retro tinted sound. Bold but not overstated, Innerspeaker re-established proper rock 'n roll in a lot of ways for the coming decade. But in 2008, the band's self-titled EP was really what set the group on this path. While it maybe doesn't have the bravado and polish of Innerspeaker, or last year's Lonerism, the Tame Impala EP does feature a great deal more for diehard fans who originally missed this record. Modular will release 5,000 of these 12" records, all pressed to red vinyl.

 

This in-depth feature highlights how well-executed album artwork can go beyond genre lines to expand into territories of philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance. Perhaps now more than ever, album cover artwork plays a vital role in music....