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This article was published on October 31, 2014

    Retro album makeovers for modern musicians from Miley to Drake

    Retro album makeovers for modern musicians from Miley to Drake
    Jami Miles
    Story by

    Jami Miles

    Jami is a University of Cincinnati student studying graphic design. She is passionate about music, fashion, photography, and especially matc Jami is a University of Cincinnati student studying graphic design. She is passionate about music, fashion, photography, and especially matcha.

    Jami Miles is a University of Cincinnati student studying graphic design. She is passionate about music, fashion, photography and especially matcha. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been reprinted with permission.


    Next month, eclectic hip-hop and soul artist Theophilus London releases his new album, Vibes!, and in addition to getting excited about the new music, we were impressed by the retro-inspired artwork unveiled for the release. The fashion-forward musician teamed with fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld for the visual design, and what resulted is an album cover with a very distinctly ’80s look.

    album1

    Inspired by this contemporary tribute to a retro aesthetic, we decided to re-envision some of our other favorite recent album releases as homages to eras gone by. To do so, designer Jami Miles created all-new artwork for artists including Drake, Miley Cyrus and Arctic Monkeys, all paying tribute to vintage design styles.

    Read on for Jami’s thoughts on each piece, and click on any album title to see the real artwork featured on its release.

    album2

    1950s
    Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

    “For this piece, I played with the literal idea of a channel, with the orange static screen on a vintage TV set. A lot of the material on the album focuses on California life, which is why I chose the halftone beach background and palm trees extending out of the noise-filled screen.”

    album3

    1950s
    Drake, Nothing Was the Same

    “Jazz music has consistently informed hip-hop, so a late-50s jazz-style record cover for Drake was perfect. The somber tone of the album also made it easy to create an instantly recognizable visual aesthetic similar to the actual cover itself.”

    album4

    1960s
    Arctic Monkeys, AM

    “I wanted this one to be vivid, psychedelic, and dreamlike. The album’s lyrics talk a lot about a powerful female figure, which is why I chose the feminine legs. Basically, frontman Alex Turner (or his imagined persona) can’t stop thinking about her, and she’s walking through his daydreams.”

    album 5

    1970s
    Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow

    “This one also plays off the idea explored in the original artwork. The album is very much about circularity, things falling apart and coming back together, especially in relationships. Night and day are used much like in the original cover to convey repetition, but also separation. I wanted to keep the figures anonymous and almost ghostlike to express the feeling of someone being a memory.”

    static.squarespace-6

    1980s
    Miley Cyrus, Bangerz

    “Miley often seems like she could have stepped right out of the ’80s, so this era is especially appropriate for her. The centered mouth, tongue-out, is inspired by the provocative star herself. It sums up the attitude of the whole album — and the artist herself — for me.”

    Explore this lightbox to see all the images used in this post.