Category Sights & Sounds

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Campfire Songs’ by Andrea Kalfas

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Campfire Songs' by Andrea Kalfas

Andrea Kalfas

I’m so excited for today’s wallpaper, I think that Baltimore illustrator Andrea Kalfas has made one of the most beautiful wallpapers I’ve ever featured. I’m also really happy that she created a wallpaper for the Animal Collective album Campfire Songs. Not quite an album and not considered an EP, Campfire Songs was recorded by the full roster of Animal Collective, though the Geologist didn’t perform on this one, but it is the first album to feature Deakin. A fun fact, the entire album was recorded in one take on a cold night in Novemeber outside on a screen porch in Maryland.

As for Andrea, she has her BFA in illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and now is a freelance illustrator. Her work is really lighthearted and extremely expressive, with lots of bold lines and inspiring color palettes. The details and textures in her wallpaper are so beautiful, and the subtle touch of purple in the large moth in the front is simply perfection. Here’s what she had to say about her wallpaper:

“Not surprisingly, listening to Campfire Songs led to to the obvious image of sitting around a campfire in the woods at night, but I felt as though I was far away, beyond the reach of the fire and the songs. It felt as though the music wasn’t meant for me, that it was a private concert just for the singer and the insects were the only audience to it. I wanted to draw lots of little nocturnal bugs, flying around and enjoying the music I could only hear from far off, unable to see the performer.”

A big thanks to Andrea for such a lovely wallpaper, and a bigger thank to Andy Mangold for curating this batch of wallpaper and finding such great artists and designers.


Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Danse Mantaee’ by Jimmy Giegerich

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Danse Mantaee by Jimmy Giegerich

Jimmy Giegerich

It’s our second week of Animal Collective inspired desktop wallpapers, and today we’ve got a totally weird one from Baltimore illustrator Jimmy Geigerich. To be clear though, that’s exactly what this wallpaper should be, because Jimmy got one of the weirdest, most difficult Animal Collective records to interpret, 2001’s Danse Manatee.

Every week I do some research on each album, and a part of that is listening to each album. Danse Manatee was and is incredibly difficult to listen to all the way through. I can handle noisy, but this album is like chaos through organs and drums. This is the first album to feature The Geologist though, who also claims it to be one of his favorite albums. According to Wikipedia, “the band was into extreme frequencies. Their goal was to experiment with intense high and low sounds and how they occupied space in the room and moved around in the listener’s head.” Well, that explains a lot.

Thankfully Jimmy Giegerich had the skills to handle this album. I love Jimmy’s style, he’s like that guy in middle school who would draw the grossest things possible all over his notebooks. Kind of a Pushead meets Japanese culture vibe to his work, it’s fantastic. Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his wallpaper:

I chose to do the piece that I did for a few reasons. Most of my illustration is narrative driven, so I couldn’t help but start to come up with kind of weird ideas for scenes and things while I was listening to the album. What I really like about the album and Animal Collective’s music in general is that their music seems to allow the listener to interpret it in their own way, and that’s kind of what I did here. I drew a whole scene based on different elements of the album, with the main element being based off of the song Meet the Light Child. What really stuck out to me about this song is that it goes from sounding kind of creepy and harsh, to sounding kind of nice and mellow, and back and forth. Like something that is both exciting and frightening at the same time, which is where I came up with the emotions of the figures around the “light child” in my piece. I wanted to go for something that fit well with the mood of the album, but told it’s own weird story at the same time.

I think he did an awesome job, and even though there’s a lot going on, it’s still dark enough to easily see your icons (trust me, I tried it). A big thanks to Andy Mangold yet again for curating this series, he’s done an awesome job so far. Check back next Wednesday for Animal Collective’s Campfire Songs.


Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished’ by Nick Iluzada

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished' by Nick Iluzada

Nick Iluzada

I’m really excited to share this new Sights & Sounds series, and so happy to see people who are equally excited to create something rad. I’ve been a big Animal Collective fan for years now, and I felt like they had the right vibe to really inspire some great looking wallpapers. Our first wallpaper in the series is for Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. Recorded back in ’99, the album is technically the work of Avey Tare and Panda Bear, the other guys hadn’t joined the group yet, and was heavily inspired by Avey Tare’s move from Baltimore to New York. It’s amazing how you can so easily hear the very foundations of their style in this album. The production, while not the greatest, is the one thing that makes it feel not quite right. Nonetheless, it’s actually a pretty amazing album, Panda Bear’s drumming in particular is something to hear at the very least.

To illustrate the album our fearless curator Andy chose Nick Iluzada, who has one of the coolest last names ever. Before this project I wasn’t familiar with Nick’s illustration work, which is a total shame. Nick has a wonderful sense for color and motion, check out his Footbawlerz series to see exactly what I mean. The variety and creativity in his sketchbooks is also something worth checking out as well.

Here’s what Nick had to say about his wallpaper:

“I created this image simply with the hope of capturing the feel of some specific tracks (most notably Chocolate Girl, Untitled, Someday I’ll Grow To Be As Tall As the Giant, and Alvin Row) with the album title as the jumping off point. While the record sways back and forth between gritty, high-pitched noise and serene textures, I felt that there was some sort of middle ground that could be worked with in terms of bringing the imagery away from it’s Baltimore (make everything neon rainbows) roots and a subdued yet coarse feel would do just the trick.”

A huge thanks to Nick for creating such a beautiful wallpaper and Andy Mangold for choosing such a talented guy. Check back next Wednesday at 10AM PST for the next wallpaper in our series, Animal Collective’s Danse Manatee.


Sights & Sounds Presents Animal Collective

Sights & Sounds Presents Animal Collective

It’s been a few months since the last Sights & Sounds wallpapers, so I figured it was time for more music influenced wallpapers. This time around we’re going to visualize the music of Animal Collective, the Baltimore based weirdo-rock outfit who are always expanding their sound.

To curate this round of wallpapers, I’ve asked Baltimore designer Andy Mangold to gather the troops and create a well-rounded group of creative individuals. Andy is a phenomenal graphic designer who creates inventive logos, beautiful posters, creative branding and so much more. He’s also the founder of Friends of the Web, a team of designers building websites and mobile apps, as well as Love & Utility, which collects beautiful paraphernalia.

There are eight wallpapers total, and I promise that all of them are stunning. I was really excited by how well they all turned out. I think you’ll be excited too. The first wallpaper will be released at 10AM PST, so be sure to check it out and come back every Wednesday for more.


Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene: ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’ by Alex Westgate

Alex Westgate

Well, we’re finishing up our second Sights & Sounds wallpaper series devoted to Broken Social Scene, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. For BSS’s last and most recent record, Forgiveness Rock Record, we’ve got Alex Westgate, a fantastic illustrator and designer. Alex is currently studying at Ontario College of Art & Design but you can tell he’sn already is a really talented artist.

As for his wallpaper, Alex decided to take a nostalgic look at the album:

For my wallpaper I chose to focus in on the song that I felt best represented the feel and “forgiveness” theme of the album. “Sentimental X’s” is a song that undoubtably deals with the bands off and on dynamic. Emily Haines sings ” A friend of a friend you used to call. Or a friend of a friend you used. You used to call.” To me the song is about forgotten, neglected friendships and the strong emotional ties that can be formed between two people. The idea that even when a relationship is taken for granted the bond that exists between both parties is never broken. I wanted to show this through the relationship we have with material objects and the meaning we give to them, things like toys from our childhood and other objects we no longer have use for. We store them away and may never touch or even look at them for years but because of our sentimental ties, we cannot bare to part with them.

Super rad, thanks so much Alex. And yet again, a huge thanks to Andrew & Matt McCracken of Doublenaut for gathering together such an awesome crew of creative folks from Toronto. If you haven’t seen the other Broken Social Scene wallpapers be sure to click here. We’ll be back to some non-music related wallpapers next week, and in a little bit we’ll start up a new Sights & Sounds.


Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene: ‘Broken Social Scene’ by Matias Palacios-Hardy

Matias Palacios-Hardy

Well it’s Wednesday already, which means we’re on your third of four wallpapers celebrating the awesome music of Broken Social Scene. This week’s desktop is for their self-titled album Broken Social Scene, which came out near the end of 2005. The album was pretty different from their previous, You Forgot It In People, being a lot more about jamming and feeling less introspective. But to me personally it was an awesome step forward in their musical style.

Visualizing the album is Matias Palacios-Hardy, a wonderful Toronto based illustrator who I think did an amazing job. I was so excited to see that he painted his entry, it gives it such life and texture. Here’s what his wallpaper is all about:

My favourite Broken Social Scene record. For some reason I always call this record ‘Major Label Debut.’ It is neither the name of the album nor even a literal descriptor. It is one of their songs and it does feel apt for this release, the band at their peak.

This wallpaper is an illustration about the misconceptions of being a successful musician. Broken Social Scene is a successful Canadian band. And being a successful Canadian band is not the same as being a successful American band. We are a huge country, but with a tiny population. A gold record here isn’t what it is in other countries. And then quantify that by having to divide your cash out to 15 or so members. Sadly, that does not equate to Concorde money.

Makes you think. Hopefully one day the band can buy their own Concorde and travel the world, dreams really do come true. A huge thanks for Matias and to the Doublenaut bros for finding such a rad guy to participate. Check back next week for our last wallpaper in the series, Forgiveness Rock Record.


Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene: ‘You Forgot It in People’ by Doublenaut


This week, I’m pleased to bring the second Broken Social Scene Sights & Sounds wallpaper: You Forgot It In People by Doublenaut. The Toronto brothers–Andrew & Matt McCracken–bring us a piece that intermixes daydreams with reality, all through a forgotten glow, perfectly suited for an album that I absolutely adore.

Speaking on creating the piece, here is what they had to say:

I have always been a big fan of this record. Very experimental and beautiful pop songs. Aside from being a great album, It helped put Canadian indie rock on the map and paved the way for many more talented Toronto musicians.

It was hard coming up with an image that illustrated “You Forgot It In People” as a whole so I decided to focus on a specific song. “Looks Just Like The Sun” is one of the more mellow tracks on the album. It has a really dreamy feel to it which I wanted the wallpaper to have as well. I used some imagery from the lyrics and layered all of the pieces over each other. Broken Social Scene are known for layering instruments and voices so I thought that approach would be appropriate.

The result is spectacular and a stellar entry into the series. Next week, we’ll be pushing forward to the next wallpaper for the band’s self-titled Broken Social Scene. Stay tuned and we’ll be announcing it next Wednesday!


Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene: ‘Feel Good Lost’ by Peter Ryan

Peter Ryan

Our first wallpaper in this new Sights & Sounds series with Broken Social Scene comes from Peter Ryan for the album Feel Good Lost. Peter’s an awesome illustrator who’s work has a great feeling of being both classic and contemporary at the same time. He also uses a ton of color which is something I personally enjoy.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I Slept With Bonhomme at the CBC by Broken Social Scene From Feel Good Lost

Amazingly, Feel Good Lost come out just a little over 10 YEARS AGO, which sounds insane and impossible, back in March of 2001. It was mainly recorded by the founding members of Broken Social Scene, Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew with the help of Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Bill Priddle, Leslie Feist, Jessica Moss and Stars’ Evan Cranley. It’s basically an instrumental album, which they found was a bit boring when they played live. So they got even more friends from the Toronto music scene to help them out on later albums to expand their sound.

Here’s how Peter explains his wallpaper for the album:

“Well, I rarely leave the world of editorial illustration, so self directed work can be quite intimidating. (particularly when interpretation is required!!) “Feel Good Lost” has very little in the way of lyrics – really, its an instrumental album for the most part. So, with my initial avenue of inspiration unavailable (lyrics) i listened to the album, again and again. At first the music made me feel down. lonely even. My fault for listening to it late at night in the month of December – but for a while i was left feeling as cold and dark as the weather, every time i put it on. This offered the image of a lone tree in snow. It wasnt till i began to further understand the album after many more listens that I started leaving it feeling hopeful and refreshed. There is so much activity in the songs. so much life. I thought for a while about exotic birds sitting in a barren tree – and that was close, but i didnt want to go overboard with hope – the dark elements still needed to dominate. after some sketching around i decided that birds resting on the limbs of the shadow of the tree was perfect. Bleak, but with an unexpected magic.”

A big thanks to Peter for a beautiful wallpaper and the Doublenaut bros for getting him to join. Check back next week for my personal favorite Broken Social Scene album, You Forgot It In People.


Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene

Sights & Sound Presents Broken Social Scene

Photo thanks to Edite Filipe

Well, well, well… it’s time yet again for another Sights & Sounds wallpaper series. This here series happens to be a short one, only because the focus of this series, Broken Social Scene, only has four albums. I’ve been a BSS fan for I don’t know how long, though I remember my friend Andrew giving me all of their albums over iChat probably, oh I don’t know, 5 years ago now. What’s amazing to me is that they started out as this nearly minimal techno band but grew into this multi-member group filled with so many talented people. You’ve got Feist, Stars, Metric, Kevin Drew, Jason Collett, The Weakerthans and more, all coming out of one collective. If that’s not genius, I don’t know what is.

The force behind this new Sights & Sounds wallpapers are the guys from Doublenaut, Andrew and Matt McCracken. I had come across them through Twitter and after looking though their portfolio I knew they’d be a great team to work with. As you may or may not know, Broken Social Scene started out in Toronto, and that’s where Doublenaut are located as well. they’ve gathered together their creative friends to create some awesome wallpapers, and that’s what you’re gonna get.

Tomorrow wer’re starting with Feel Good Lost by… someone awesome. You’ll find out later today, but for now it’s a bit of surprise. Nonetheless it’s worth mentioning that they’ve done a splendid job of interpreting the album and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Check in later today to see what greatness we’ll be up to, and a big thanks to the Doublenaut bros for doing such a great job organizing this.


Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: ‘Wilco (The Album)’ by Stephanie Brown

Stephanie Brown

Last year, I started Sights & Sounds to expand upon what the Desktop Wallpaper Project could be. I loved the idea of an artist summing up the sound of an album with a single image, their interpretation of what a collection of songs looked like. And now here we are with our final Wilco wallpaper by Stephanie Brown for Wilco (The Album).

Stephanie is an incredibly talented painter and, when Joe suggested her name for the series, I thought, “Wow, that would be amazing if we could get her.” To me, her art is beyond good: it’s stunning. She also seems like a really rad person, as evidenced by the fact that she recently tattooed herself, a 3 hour process in which she almost passed out. A painter and a bad ass.

Wilco (The Album) is the band’s most recent album, which came out in 2009. I thought this was a great album, but it falls behind some of their albums for me. That said, some of the songs on the album are some of the best they’ve ever written, specifically You and I with Feist. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to that song. I also really enjoy Deep Down, which reminds me of The Beatles in the best way, and I’ll Fight, with it’s country twang.

Here’s how Stephanie describes her wallpaper:

Wilco (The Album)‘s themes seem to revolve around struggle. A couple in You and I who are grasping to keep a relationship together, the bleak aftermath of a man who killed his girlfriend in Bull Black Nova, a physical altercation in Deeper Down. Throughout these vignettes it seems that the greatest struggle is to find meaning in sometimes meaningless strife, and ends in choosing to accept both the dark and the light for what they are worth. At first glance this album comes off as cheeky, because of its album art and oddly self aware title track, but the more time I spent with it, the more I grew to love it. So I used the language that I know best: two snakes, both the good and the bad, entangled with one another in an endless deadlock.”

A huge thanks to Stephanie for her beautiful contribution and fitting ending to a beautiful series of wallpapers. Be sure to stay tuned for the announcement of the next series of Sights & Sounds, which should start some time next month. The musical artist has already been chosen and all of the wallpapers are ready–but I want to give a little breathing room between projects.