Broken Deer Polaraura Self-Released Releasing an album means recording, mixing, mastering, and sharing a piece of yourself through music -- and the way all that happens can be unbelievably revealing. In Broken Deer's experimental, ghostly, and cassette-recorded fifth release, Polaraura, we get a unique window into Lindsay Dobbin's musical temperament as well as her natural and spiritual concerns. At the same time breathlessly intimate and palpably alienating, Dobbin's music invites external forces in while still keeping itself closed off, lending an interesting dichotomy to Polaraura's collection of fluctuating sounds and melodies.

 

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion, Sculpture, Installation _____________________________    91 Album Covers For 2011 Best Of 2011 Album Cover Art

Adventure - Lesser Known
Using a purely spontaneous creative process that begins with nothing more than a general interest, Elena Johnston created an album cover for Adventure that musically and thematically captures the band's dynamic spirit.
QUOTES FROM: ELENA JOHNSTON, DESIGNER THEMES & CONCEPTS "I had been working with the idea of framing compelling found images with other found images to play with texture and spacial relations. I was also really into water imagery and space imagery at the time, so I played with how these two ideas visually and conceptually play with each other." THE EXTRAS "I hand-drew the typography, and it was eventually printed in glossy ink onto the matte finish of the image, so it stands out more." Record Label Carpark Records The Artists Design - Elena Johnston Booklet Design - Benny Boeldt Mediums & Materials Collage, Digital
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Adventure "Rio" by Carpark Records

What I find fascinating about Sea Of Bees' new video for "Sidepain" is this: it's not that often you get to study a stranger's face up-close, particularly in a music video. For half of this video, you get to closely follow around Julie Ann Bee, the creative force behind Sea...

On a Tuesday night in San Francisco, I wandered to Great American Music Hall, alone, having been told I would only have a ticket for myself. This turned out to be untrue. But with the man at will call telling me that my guest needed to be present right then...

tUnE-yArDs' new video for "Bizness" off her upcoming album, w h o k i l l, combines manic editing tricks, modern dance, and lipsyncing by young students pretending to be Merrill Garbus. These elements themselves are nothing new, but as one might expect from Garbus, everything in this video is...

Neumos Seattle, WA 2011 - 03/24 Going to see Akron/Family is an exercise: literally. Besides never knowing how the freak-folk-rock band is going to blast out the versions of their songs -- maybe a bit softer here, a bit harder there -- when the band came out to the Neumo's crowd, multi-instrumentalist Seth...

To use the word "unusual" to describe the performance February 19th, at the Merkin Concert Hall in NYC, is an understatement. As part of the Ecstatic Music Festival taking place from Jan-March 2011 in NYC, Roomful Of Teeth performed songs composed by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, and Merrill Garbus of...

Man, there is some seriously heavy shit going down here -- and when I say heavy, I mean that in the spiritual sense rather than the Slayer sense. With the dominance of competitive male energy coursing through the our psyches and ensnaring our female brethren in lives dominated by patriarchal...

In 2009, Portland record label Marriage Records released Merrill Garbus' first album under the moniker tUnE-yArDs. The album was called BiRd-BrAiNs, and only one month later, Garbus was signed to 4AD, a reputable label known for their work with everyone from Deerhunter and Blonde Redhead to The Mountain Goats. With only one month of buffer time between her record release and her label signing, what was it about Garbus that captured the attention of such a huge label?
To put it concisely, Garbus is a helluva woman. Armed with a ukelele, free music editing software, and a digital recorder to capture samples with, Garbus created the lo-fi BiRd-BrAiNs in as DIY a manner as possible. She channeled the hopelessness from a particularly low point of her life into an experimental album – one which feels positive in its instrumentation but has hints of cynicism in its lyrical content. The album is chock full of rhetorical questions -- hypothetical what-ifs one might ask when questioning oneself.

"At a certain point in my mid-20s, I hit real rock bottom -- I mean, in terms of, feeling I wanted to exist on the planet. When I realized that if the choice was between dying versus doing something that made me want to live and made me want to be a part of the world, that was the obvious choice," explains Garbus. "And I guess through my music, I found that."

Listen to "Hatari" - DOWNLOAD MP3