I love music. Anyone who knows me knows I love music. Because of that, I'm not going to treat this as a "Top 10 Covers of All Time" list—but more of a "10 Covers I Find Super Cool" list. There is no particular order, there is no hierarchy. I don't think any one of these covers are better or worse than another. They're just really cool for the sake of being really cool, and I think you should see them! (And maybe listen to them too; they're all good records in general, and that they come with amazing art is a bonus!)
1. Get To Heaven: Everything Everything
This is not only one of my favorite albums of all time, but one of my favorite album covers of all time. Andrew Archer is the designer behind it, and he's a master of color.
2. Halestorm (10th Anniversary Edition): Halestorm
This is a really beautiful illustration to commemorate the 10th birthday of Halestorm's eponymous album. Its Blade Runner vibes give a cool cyberpunk upgrade to the original steampunk cover.
3. In Contact: Caligula's Horse
The painting used on the cover here is by Irish artist Connor Maguire who specializes in emphasizing unique shapes and shadows to create one-of-a-kind almost dreamscapes. I love it. Dreamy is the best word for the fantastical piece on In Contact, and it mirrors the interpersonal content on the album so well.
4. Colors II: Between the Buried and Me
I don't have anything special to say about this one. It’s graphic and attractive to look at—and I want to hang it on my wall!
5. Unsung Heroes: Ensiferum
I had to include at least one folk metal fave on this list, and I think this album captures the magic of the genre. Viking fantasy and mysticism are so much fun, and Ensiferum embody that to a T!
6. Everything Is Fine: Amigo the Devil
This is a very special album to me, and the artwork on the cover, simple as it is, encapsulates the narrative themes of the music so wonderfully. There's this sense of cold, wet, and lonely—an isolation of the mind and self, and it's so perfect for an album that tackles a side of the human condition we don't usually like to face head-on while ending on a realistically optimistic note. I love it.
7. The Other Shore: Murder By Death
A different approach to music by these gothic Americana favorites, this concept album is a space opera-esque narrative that's best enjoyed start to finish. The cover is this weird painting that can be read a number of ways. I don't want to explain what I see in the artwork, as it'll ruin the story of the album—and it's always most impressive on a blind journey. So, enjoy the artwork here and go give it a listen!
8. Circadian: Intervals
Intervals is a cool instrumental band—highly conceptual, somewhere on the progressive side of music, and their covers almost always have similar vibes. Circadian's cover is a fantastic painting by Colin Frangicetto who's concept work goes to some really special places. This one feels so internalized and cosmic all at the same time. It's great to look at (and listen to!).
9. Sondersongs: Whale Fall
I couldn't tell you if the birds are fighting or not, but the flat field of blue is so serene that it almost doesn't matter. The birds are a warm contrast and almost feel like a dream, and maybe that's for good reason. The instrumentals take the idea of "sonder" to an internal level. Listening to this can really put you outside of yourself for a few minutes, and sometimes that's just what you need. This is one of my go-to albums to play to help induce relaxation and rest on high-stress days—or when my insomnia is especially bad.
10. Raw Data Feel: Everything Everything
It was definitely my goal to have 10 covers by 10 unique artists, but Raw Data Feel just came out in May. This cover is so cool. The whole album and the artwork associated with it and its singles are heavily AI-inspired, influenced, and crafted. It gives a really unique, digitized appearance to match the music.