Choice Covers: Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

Posted February 19, 2020 in Music Reviews

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.

Tim Putnam of Partisan Records walks us through the hunt for a fitting photograph for Fontaines D.C.’s Dogrel.

Tim Putnam: It was always important to the band that the cover was to be Irish, whether this be a photograph of the band, or a photo that was taken in Ireland. Dogrel is the band’s first record, so we knew we needed to set the foundations of their aesthetic. Sonically, the album was a big step up from some of the earlier singles, so I think it was clear to everyone that we needed something that was arresting and compelling, something that would serve as the perfect visual accompaniment to their exceptional debut album.

Initially we went into the process with the idea of using a photograph of the band, however, everyone soon decided to license an image instead. We sifted through hundreds of photos looking for the right one, it was very important that the cover was inherently Irish. As soon as we saw the image, we knew it was the one for the record.

We landed on a photograph by a photographer called Bruce Davidson. It was shot in 1967 at the Duffy & Sons circus, a circus that still travels Ireland today. Once we had the image, the rest came quite naturally. We added the spaced text, the red and yellow colouring felt right against the dark shadows of the image, and we wanted to keep the cover as simple as possible so the image had as much space as possible to be impactful. The image is perfect because it represents performance, but also the vulnerability of performance.

Words: Jack O’Higgins


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