I don’t generally do much of Sunday morning. You may say that I am wasting the best bit of the day, but “wasting” is a very subjective term, and if I have the chance to grab a nice, warm, cosy lie-in in winter – well, I’m not going to object. It is after all, “the day of rest”.
So it would have to be something very special to wake me up at 4 o’clock on a Sunday morning, and yet I actually do find myself tempted by this…
If you are reading this and thinking that I’m hinting at a suitable birthday present, thank you, but please don’t. I’m really undecided on whether this is a thing I want to do – I mean, it is something that I want to do, but whether I’ll feel that way at 3:55am that day… mmm… I’m less sure.
And then there’s the rest of the family. I mean, you spend all that money ($15 = R39,000,000) (ish) and you get up at 3:55am and then you listen to a concert on headphones so as not to wake the kids and the (probably bewildered) beagle?
This looks like I’m being lazy again (it’s not deliberate), but I just found this interview really interesting, and I wanted to share. It’s with Mark Farrow, who has been designing Pet Shop Boys record (CD, tape, album) covers for ever so many years now. He’s just done the same again for their latest one, Super, which I’m currently listening to (spoiler: it’s not misnamed).
I’m not into “design”, but I really like the idea behind this latest cover:
This time we went pop art, a fluorescent circle containing the word “SUPER” in a contrasting fluorescent colour. Then each format, CD, LP and digital, was given its own fluorescent colour scheme. The different music streaming services even have their own colour schemes. These colour schemes then come together in an animation of clashing colours used for online advertising and digital poster sites. Unhinged and brash, yes, but it also feels considered and complete as a campaign.
And yes, look – they’re all different – here’s Simfy and the Wikipedia entry:
So let’s get this straight… This guy has been a designer – a successful designer – for at least 30 years (he did the cover for West End Girls back in 1987) and he has come up with a circle with a word in it? A word that he was given. He didn’t even have to think of the word. Seriously, aside from the circle (which is hardly a complex addition), could it actually have been any more simple?
No. No, it couldn’t.
Thing is though, it’s absolutely brilliant. And even those true cynics amongst us have to take a seat and just admit that sometimes less is more. Maybe you need to be a top class designer – supremely confident in your ability and reputation and in your clients’ belief in your work, to be able to challenge them and their fans with something so audaciously basic and fundamental.
It’s so unpretentious that it might just be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been following Bridlington-based duo Seafret for a while now, and they’ve made it onto the blog on several (or more) occasions, so I was delighted to learn that they have finally sorted a release date for their debut album Tell Me It’s Real.
And that release date is 29th January 2016. Say Jack and Harry (for it is they):
Each song on the album expresses a different part of this amazing journey we’ve been on so far. From moving from our little town in Yorkshire to the big smoke, missing home and loved ones and meeting some amazing people on the way.
And that January release cunningly leaves them safely out of the extremely challenging running for the 2015 6000 miles… Album of the Year award (a-ha, Dry The River, Ludovico Einaudi et al.), while also putting them as early frontrunners for the 2016 version. Clever.
Listen to Sinking Ship – my favourite track – here, and/or enjoy widespread pre-orderage options are available on their website. Heads up: it’s R99.99 on SA iTunes – that’s less than half the £9.99 UK price.
After the heartbreak of a-ha going their separate ways and the heartbreak of a million tonnes of snow at Gatwick Airport, some new green shoots are beginning to emerge from the wasteland that my connection to Norwegian music had become.
Yes, a new solo album from Morten and a tour to go with it. Sadly, I don’t think South Africa will make it onto the itinerary, but the UK has already got three confirmed concerts in Manchester, London and Birmingham, with further dates announced in Zurich and Paris. The UK dates are in May and I’m off to the UK in June. So that’s not great.
Still, at least I have a new album to look forward to. This will be his 5th solo offering, and the first since his brilliant Letter From Egypt in 2008:
The other a-ha band members are still doing their own thing as well: Pal with Weathervane here and Magne in Aparatjik.
Look out for more a-ha related videos on here over the next week or so, simply because I can do that on here because it’s my blog.