Photography and music are two art forms that have always complemented each other. From documenting nightlife and preserving niche underground scenes, to capturing artists at their best and immortalizing them forever, photography is an essential part of any music scene.
An integral part of music is the album cover which sets the tone and visual aspect of a whole music project. The chance for creative minds from two different fields to come and conceptualize an art always leads to interesting results and you can see it over the decades of memorable cover art. Photographers like Jurgen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Noboyushi Araki have given us some of the most iconic albums and creative concepts through the means of collaboration. We recently talked to LomoAmigo Ennuh Tiu about her work creating album covers with musicians in her local music scene.
With all this in mind we started looking at photos from the Lomography community in a new light, imagining what kind of music they would make a perfect album cover for.
When I saw this photo by @nero300, I was instantly transported to a time when I would be cueing songs on my iPod and trying to be the first one among my friends to discover the next big thing. I would be on websites such as BIRP that would give you the latest independent music from around the world. For me, a lot of music from the early 2010s would be suited to have this picture as an album cover, especially when the FIFA soundtrack would get a lot of independent underground bands that focused heavily on catchy guitar riffs and heavy synths.
This photo by @stelmach instantly reminded me of the work of Hiroshi Nagai, a prominent Japanese artist during the 80s known for mixing Japanese and American-type accents to create his art. He was also very prominent during the city pop movement of Japan's music which is where this photo would go. City Pop is a genre that combines elements of 80s pop music but takes a lot of cues from jazz and funk. The most notable song of the City Pop era became Plastic Love because of its out of nowhere popularity due to Youtube. This photo would perfectly take its place between notable city pop album covers with its deep blues and simple subject matter.
Do-it-yourself solo projects and music filled with heavily reverbed guitars and hazy vocals are what I hear when I saw this picture. Lomographer @truelin takes a psychedelic portrait filled with red hazes and fisheye-like vignettes. This style of picture would not be uncommon around the corners of sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud where independent artists can release their music freely and aim to attract an organic audience.
These photos remind me of long pre-pandemic nights when I would go to the underground clubs around my city. The kind of music I'd hear from this is a mix of electronic beats with some acid basslines mixed with some more natural elements such as bongos and other percussions. It would be a mix of darker sounds but could have elements of ambient, IDM, and techno as well. These two photos by @enguerrand combined could be a mix of the front and back of a DJ and crowd-favorite electronic album that can be heard bouncing off the walls in the darkest corners of the club.
We thank the Lomography community for their wonderful photos. If you think you have a photo that can act as an album cover and want to share it with us, message @rocket_fries0036.