Capturing the Essence
April 2, 2021
One of my favorite parts of making music is having an excuse to associate great visual art with it. The connection between the two, especially as it pertains to our album covers, is such a crucial part of “the total package” to me that I end up investing wayyyyy too much time in it between brainstorming concepts, sketching out basic versions of the ideas, and discussing the details and execution of the final product with Sam Turner, our long time collaborator and illustrator, extraordinaire. The process of creating the art for Album 4 (sorry, I don’t want to spoil the album title for you just yet, though I love how it ties into the art) was no different, and encompassed new depths of overinvolvement on my part.
Sam and I were having a hard time capturing the essence of the main figure that you will see on the cover, who has connections to past album art (apologies again, but I want it to remain a surprise). It was important for them to feel flawed, human, and vulnerable in ways that the figures depicted in fantasy-inspired art often aren’t. How to communicate this in a way that still results in a representation that is visually appealing and helps build the story of this character, without referencing anything outside of the Khemmis art canon too directly? Write a short story about their background, future, present, and how it relates to the past album covers, of course.
Who knows if it will ever see the light outside of the close circle of the band, but this was a really interesting diversion for me from practicing riffs and writing lyrics while recording the album. I’ve always been hesitant to explain too much of our intention with the album artwork, mostly because it is too fun to hear others’ takes on them and their speculation about how they relate to each other (some of which may be better than “the truth”, anyway), but it is no doubt appealing to me from a creative perspective to try to find some way, eventually, to bring the story to life. Until then, and in the service of sparking speculation about what the new art is and what it represents, here is a small sneak-peek of the new art. We can’t wait to share the full thing with you soon this summer.