Recording an EP: artwork

Every music release needs some form of artwork. We can all remember our favourite album covers, and these images quickly become mental shortcuts when searching through our music collections and playlists. In this post, we talk about how we developed the artwork for the Matt Palmer Band debut EP: A Rising Tide

I started seriously thinking about the EP artwork during the spring of 2019. I was keen to have a group shot of the band on the front cover and I knew there wouldn’t be many opportunities to get this done – summer was fast approaching and at that stage I had anticipated launching the EP in September. We had booked a session at Tazma Studios in April to shoot a couple of music videos (more on those in later posts) and it seemed like this might be the only opportunity to get some band photos done in time for the EP launch.

The font cover artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photograph by Abbie Barton.
The font cover artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photograph by Abbie Barton.

I had heard of a brilliant local photographer called Abbie Barton and contacted her about doing the shoot. Having seen her previous work and given her enthusiastic response I was sure we would end up with something great. Due to limited band member availability, we ended up in this pretty crazy situation where we were trying to shoot two music videos and do a band photo shoot in a single evening! This meant that Abbie had a window of about 15 mins to get the band photos done. She took some amazing shots in this incredibly short space of time and totally nailed the EP cover shot (pictured above). I did some air-brushing of the background to remove distracting elements and help keep the visual emphasis on the band, but I think this worked out fine.

The back cover and disc artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photography Tim Loe (back cover) and Matt Palmer (disc).
The back cover and disc artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photographs by Tim Loe (back cover) and Matt Palmer (disc).

The idea for the back cover came from some fantastic close-up shots that Tim Loe took during the video shoot for Chasing Butterflies. I love the lighting that Tim achieved for the shoot and I arranged the photos to mimic the font cover (i.e. Niall, Matt and Alex from left-to-right). The final photograph came from a walk I took along the River Otter during the winter months. There was this beautiful old tree embedded in the sandstone cliffs with its branches reaching down to the water. I wanted an image that linked to the EP title and this seemed to work great. I created a mirror image of the photo for artistic effect and then lightened the image to better match the rest of the EP artwork. All of the image processing and arranging of artwork was done using the freely available GNU Image Manipulation Program software.

A tree on the banks of the River Otter. This image was the basis of the disc artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photograph by Matt Palmer.
A tree on the banks of the River Otter. This image was the basis of the disc artwork for A Rising Tide by the Matt Palmer Band. Photograph by Matt Palmer.

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