In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art
 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Three acts today, including tracks from solo electronic musicians Co La and Mister Lies, as well as a bootlegged live session from Portland's Swahili.

 

Co La

By regurgitating a whole slew of influences past and present, solo artist Matthew Papich, aka Co La, creates pastiches that might fall into the trappings of electronic glitchiness if it weren't for their frequently analog source materials. Hands In The Dark records have just unlocked Papich's upcoming EP, Soft Power Memento, for us to stream in its entirety, below. The album single is "Love Nest", and were it actually a love nest, it'd be a strange one -- certainly a bungalow, though possibly outfitted with a surround-sound speaker system that plays alongside grooving jazz musicians and drumming natives. The EP is being released by Hands In The Dark and NNA Tapes, in limited quantities, on CD and tape.