2012: Favorite 30 Album Covers of 2012

Here are 30 record sleeves, all representative of one person’s state of mind and path through the internet in 2012. While a lot of the covers come from albums I actually listened to, some of them I found randomly while browsing through Rate Your Music and Discogs. This isn’t about my favorite artworks from my favorite artists; it’s about simple artistic values, and in conjunction with my previous year-end compilations, it’s also an example of how taste evolves in some ways, but stays the same in others.

If you were to pick apart the elements of these covers, themes would emerge, certain compositional tics, color choices, perhaps hidden meanings. Where do these preferences come from? Are they slowly shaped through time, or do they appear in a flash of insight and inspiration? Some could probably be traced back to something like my obsession with the introduction to the 1980s G.I. Joe animated movie, while other choices can be attributed to the fact that TMT went crazy this year over vaporwave (while quietly revolting against old-guard aesthetics from even a few years ago), which inevitably shaped my relationship with its imagery.

30
Vinyl Williams
Lemniscate
[Salonislam/No Pain in Pop]

29
Jonathan James Carr
Well Tempered Ignorance
[Field Hymns]

28
Doldrums
She is the Wave [7-inch]
[Arbutus Records]

27
Panabrite
Soft Terminal
[Digitalis]

26
Grimes
Visions
[4AD]

25
DIIV
Oshin
[Captured Tracks]

24
Ty Segal Band
Slaughterhouse
[In The Red]

23
Father John Misty
Fear Fun
[Sub Pop]

22
Macintosh Plus
Floral Shoppe
[Beer on the Rug]

21
Crippling
Creation Myths
[Hooker Vision]

[pagebreak]


20
People Get Ready
People Get Ready
[Brassland]

19
Cankun
Isalo Waterfall
[Not Not Fun]

18
Oneohtrix Point Never
Rifts
[Software]

17
Chromatics
Kill For Love
[Italians Do It Better]

16
M. Geddes Gengras
Test Leads
[Holy Mountain]

15
Eric Lanham
The Sincere Interruption
[Spectrum Spools]

14
Koi Pond
So Higher
[Sonic Meditations]

13
White Suns
Sinews
[Load]

12
John Carpenter
Prince of Darkness
[Death Waltz]

11
Moon Duo
Circles
[Sacred Bones]

[pagebreak]


10
Matt Carlson
All Moments
[NNA]

09
Laurel Halo
Quarantine
[Hyperdub]

08
Moon Pool & Dead Band
Human Fly
[Not Not Fun]

07
The Gaslamp Killer
Breakthrough
[Brainfeeder]

06
Marching Church
Throughout The Borders [7-inch]
[Posh Isolation]

05
Gary War
Jared’s Lot
[Spectrum Spools]

04
Blood Diamonds (feat. Grimes)
Phone Sex [12-inch]
[4AD]

03
Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Motion Sickness of Time Travel
[Spectrum Spools]

02
Altar Eagle
Nightrunners
[Digitalis]

01
Arca
Stretch 2
[UNO NYC]

Keith Rankin is a musician and visual artist, who co-runs Orange Milk. Check out his work here.




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Favorite 30 Album Covers of 2012
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