The Choice Music Awards is an annual celebration of the best Irish albums. We delve a little deeper to discover the story behind the album artwork chosen by some of the contenders and its relationship to the music in question.
Wexford born Wallis Bird embraced her German connections to evoke the connections between her music and artwork.
“The album cover was a creative collaboration from all of us in the team really. An image of my girlfriend Tracey and I in an embrace came to me quite early in the game, once I knew I was going to call the album Home. I see it as the basis of what ‘home’ is – connection, security and love. So we begun with a mock photoshoot, and contacted our longtime photographer and great friend Jens Oellermann (oellermann.de) to do the shoot. He chose to shoot on Mamiya analogue medium format to bring out the extra tactility, depth and real detail to our shoot, we chose to shoot completely at home with natural light, in the kitchen where Tracey and I met. Pretty cathartic. The whole team whittled the photos down, and in the end my management chose the final cover photo, we all took a shot at editing it and putting it through basic filters until we realised that the image projects its message best as a floating, dreamlike painting – highlighting the embraces message, rather than rooting it to real photograph or reality for that matter, because ‘home’ is also simply a feeling. Our graphics designer Maximilian Schenkel gave it the all important finishing touches.
The artwork wholly relates to the music in many facets. My face is on the cover so I am free to be judged immediately and completely, my girlfriend is being honoured, the image is normalising love between two women, it is also a solid embrace which we all know the strength of, the serenity and contentedness of our expression, using a human emotion to say that home is not just a material possession, the eyes closed as a nod to my previous album “wallis bird”, which was also Choice nominated, a sepia tone because I feel that yellow is a strong colour throughout this album, the block capitals of the font to express confidence, using an incredibly ubiquitous font for the feeling of familiarity and simplicity to afford the holder time to read into the title… less is more, much like the approach to the albums sound.
I have to say that deciding to call the album ‘Home’ was one of the slickest moves I ever made! I worked almost completely from home for the entire process – the album production, listening sessions, video shoots, photo shoots, interviews, rehearsals, release concert, they were all based from home. And being in an embrace for 5 hours straight with my girlfriend for a photo shoot, and calling that a days work was one of the peak moments of my career ;)”