Thursday, 5 February 2015

OUGD406 Choosing an Artist (Studio Brief One)

I'm finding the process of narrowing down which artist to choose to create the vinyl cover for pretty difficult, so for this reason I am going to research into two of the artists and then decide which one I could create a lot of work for and have a lot of ideas for.

I have decided I will research into St Vincent - Digital Witness to begin with.

Anne Erin 'Annie' Clark was born September 28th, 1982, better known for her stage name 'St. Vincent'. She's an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Her music career began as a member of The Polyphonic Spree and she was also part of Sufjan Stevens' touring band before forming her own band in 2006. She currently lives in downtown Manhattan.

She was nominated for her first Grammy in the Best Alternative Music category for her self-titled album 'St. Vincent'. She has opened shows for acts such as The Black Keys, Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie. Her work was featured on two The Twilight Saga motion picture soundtracks, the first was called 'Roslyn' and was a collaboration with Bon Iver.

Annie Clark has said that 'Digital Witness' "encapsulates this idea where we've become very dependent on other people [...] a million digital eyes, validating our experience". The lyrics are commentary on social media, including her own experience on social networking, such as Twitter, which she describes as 'pathetic'. The lyrics question how people evaluate what is and is not important in this digital age. The song received positive attention from music critics. The music video was directed by Chino Moya. It's surreal in nature, featuring robotic movement and geometric architecture. The style is reminiscent of the 1927 German epic film Metropolis.

I then decided I would look into the second artist and song, which I have chosen to be Underworld - Born Slippy (Nuxx).

Underworld are a British electronic group formed in 1980 in Cardiff and the principle name under which musicians Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have recorded together. Darren Price has toured with the band since 2005, after the departure of Darren Emerson in 2000. Underworld are known for visual style and dynamic live performances, and are known for influencing a wide range of artists and have been featured on soundtracks and scores for films, such as Trainspotting.

In 1987, Hyde, Smith, Thomas, Burrows and Allen formed the band Underworld (named after a Clive Barker scripted film which was scored by Freur).

The band's 1996 album 'Second Toughest in the Infants', was their second studio album with Emerson and achieved a degree of commercial success, due in part to its release coinciding with that of the film 'Trainspotting'. The song featured elements of techno, house, drum and base and pop music to spectacular effect. It's celebrated as one of the greatest dance tracks of the decade. The track has sold well over a million copies, and appeared on countless compilations, mashups and remixes.

The band has stated that Born Slippy (Nuxx) was 'originally meant as a joke', . They have also stated that the song is intended to sound like an alcoholic's internal dialogue and that Karl Hyde was an alcoholic at the time. ".NUXX" was inspired by a computer fault that aded that suffix to the name of their working files. In 2014, NME named it the 261st greatest song of all time. Pitchfork Media named it the 31st best track of the 1990's.

After researching these two bands, I still can't decide who I am going to base my vinyl designs on. For this reason, I am also going to look into The Maccabees - Go.

The Maccabees are an indie rock band from London, England. They have released three albums so far: 'Colour it in' (2007), 'Wall of Arms' (2009) and their most recent album 'Given to the Wild' (2012). The band have also confirmed that their fourth album is nearing completion.

The band came up with the name by flicking through the Bible and picking out a random word. Despite having a band name with religious connotations, lead singer Orlando Weeks confirmed in an interview on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 1 show that none of the band are religious. Their lyrics often include an atheistic theme, in particular their second album title track 'Wall of Arms' and 'All in Your Rows' from their debut album. 

Left you there in the sunlight
In the sunshine by the windowsill in the kitchen
In light of what was to come it was not enough

Just like the cardboard that covered
The missing panes and cracks in our bedroom windows
We should have known they wouldn't keep out the cold

It was not enough
It's not enough
And it never was

And they'll call out with a name by which I'd never call you
And we'll grow out when it's time
And the skins we've known no longer fit us

It's not enough and it leaves you tired

See you there in the sunlight
In the sunshine by the windowsill in the kitchen

And they'll call out with a name by which I'd never call you
All things being well still feel it was not enough

These are the lyrics for the song. I couldn't find an overview of what the lyrics mean online, but from what I can gather it's based on natural love, and nature in general. I also get the feeling from their album cover as a whole that it's based on mankind in nature, as there is a manmade sculpture out of rock in the middle of a field full of flowers.

After looking at this artist as well, I am still unsure as to which artist I should focus on. For this reason, I am going to create my 30 thumbnail ideas based on all three artists, 10 thumbnails each. From this, I should hopefully be able to narrow down which artist I have the most and best ideas for.

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