Adrian: For me, few covers really capture a record’s sound, and out of those that do, few hit the heady successes of Bill Evans‘ 1962 masterpiece Undercurrent. Toni Frissell’s photograph “Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida” shows a beautifully shot, haunting, black & white image of a woman suspended in deep and perfectly still water. It’s unclear whether she is floating, or in fact at the start of a completely surrendered sinking. But it mirrors Evans’ mesmerizing piano, it’s hard to not sink into the music and lose myself.
It is the perfect melancholia, a snapshot in time where for a moment I am drowning in all the sombre emotions this record brings me. I’m not a photographer, so it hasn’t informed any of my artwork, but it certainly cemented the idea that music and art can be equally as powerful, and when put together in the correct way, can really stop someone in their tracks, as it did me when I first saw it. The lack of text and colour are a powerful statement, and that is something we have carried over into Spectres’ artwork. A record cover that also works as a piece of art, and offers the question: which is the accompanying element, the music or the image?
Jamie: My girlfriend would put on Midnight In Paris every morning as we drank coffee and made breakfast. I would pretend I hated it but secretly I loved it every time. There’s a feeling that I find difficult to deconstruct which binds the cover and the film together so tightly in mind as I write. The most obvious is the comparison between the music of Bill Evans and Jim Hall and the soundtrack to the film itself. There are notable differences, but the feeling that it produces inside me is the same. Jazz music that glides across the scale as effortlessly as the movement of a dress. The sort of music that makes you feel more alive just from listening to it.
You wonder to yourself why you don’t make more time for the way this music makes you feel. It’s because it’s completely at odds with the time period in which we currently reside but in every way that counts. The second reason the film and the album are so inextricably linked in my mind is the photograph that lies on the cover which shares an aesthetic quality with the most striking shots from the great Paris street photographers from the last century. People such as Cartier-Bresson, Jacques Henri Lartigue or Robert Doisneau.
Much later I discovered that the artist responsible was Toni Frissell, an American fashion and portrait photographer who honed her craft throughout the second World War. The reason I love this photograph is because right there in stark sepia is a demonstration of artistic achievement that I could only ever dream to flirt at the very fringes of. The capturing of a moment which exists outside of time and place, never to be repeated. It’s also the way it makes me feel each time I look at it, which is difficult to deconstruct. I think I’ll go watch Midnight In Paris.
Lorenzo Cook of Petite League on Bombay Bicycle Club ~ I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose