Sights & Sounds: My Bloody Valentine featuring Alex Synge and Philip Kennedy

Sights & Sounds: My Bloody Valentine - 'Loveless' by Philip Kennedy

Philip Kennedy

Anniversaries are always good occasions to celebrate, so why not the 23rd and 20th anniversary of a pair of classic albums? Today’s wallpapers are technically Sights & Sounds installments, but done in one amazing post. The albums I’m speaking of are Isn’t Anything and Loveless from the Irish band, My Bloody Valentine.

With the release of these albums they helped to usher in the idea of shoegaze, which was defined by band members staring down at their feet as they used effects pedals to create a blaring cacophony of sound. With the release of Isn’t Anything back in 1988 My Bloody Valentine the band had managed to find the sweet spot of Jesus and Mary Chain, the wail of Sonic Youth and make something quite their own. With the follow up in 1991 of Loveless, they refined that sound to a new level and made one of the most revered album of the last 20 years. You can hear their sound in many bands today, M83 being a great example, and just how important they were to the generations that followed.

Figuring out who to get to make these wallpapers was a cinch, since our very own TFIB author Philip Kennedy is Irish. He, along with his buddy Alex Synge, tackled My Bloody Valentine’s only two albums, and they did a fantastic job. Alex’s design is stunning, it honestly makes me think of something Peter Saville might have come up with for a New Order album, minus the crazy color coding system. Philip’s wallpaper is a perfect representation of Loveless, simply put, it’s a beautiful mess.

The guys also put some of their thoughts down as to why they created their wallpapers, I’d suggest reading them both, especially Alex’s. He went into crazy detail and gives you so much insight into his production.

And here’s what Philip said about his wallpaper:

It’s funny because my process of making the wallpaper ended up feeling a little like the making of Loveless itself. The album was considered to be a really difficult album to make and it took the band almost two-years to record it. They ended up working in something like nineteen different studios and almost bankrupted their label in doing so. Fortunately, my process never got that out of hand, but it certainly was a challenge. I drew up so many different ideas for it and each time I’d realize that the album’s cover captured everything I wanted to say about the album already.

What I really like about Loveless is it’s combination of dark and trashy guitar with it’s sweet and poppy vocals; the “pure noise and pure melody”. I think the band visualized that duality perfectly on the cover with their combination of wild and rough photography and that perfectly sweet shade of pink. Hopefully my wallpaper plays a similar tribute to the terrific duality of the band!

November 2, 2011 / By