The top album covers of 2022

It’s that time of year again… From Motomami to silver spoons we’re narrowing down our favourite album artwork of this past year. 

No Hay Ley by Kali Uchis

Y2k fashions have been in vogue for a couple of years but what I loved about Colombian-American artist Kali Uchis’ artwork was that it brought the womanly glamour back to the y2k obsession. Culture’s relationship with 2000s fashion has been a girly one; think Bratz dolls, hyper pink bedroom walls and all around teen culture. Uchis’ ‘No Hay Ley’ brings a more womanly, snatched, high fashion feel to the y2k trend. We think back to Jennifer Lopez’s iconic blue toned ‘If You Had My Love’ video and the aviators sported by Uchis are a nod to y2k glamour queens such as Lopez. 

No Hay Ley marks Uchis’ first piece of original solo music since releasing Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ two years ago.  The artist has been teasing new music on her TikTok and we’re gagging for it. 

The Spoon by Oscar Jerome 

Following his breathtaking album Breathe Deep (2020) 2022 saw Jerome launch his anticipated album The Spoon. He’ll move from a whisper to a scream throughout the album, and he’s as ready to talk about his feelings of depression as he is to rage about the injustices of his home country. With this new album came a new visual identity for Jerome seeing him adorn Goodfella-like suits and tinted aviators. The Spoon’s cover is striking and conveys a message of self-reflection in a tongue-in-cheek fashion shot by the brilliant Alexandra Waespi and with Art Direction by rising creator Malcolm Yaeng. 

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar

The cover artwork for the rapper’s new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers features Lamar in a crown of thorns holding a child; in the background is a woman with a baby. The stunning, brown-toned shot was captured by Renell Medrano. The album revisits moments of nostalgia for Lamar and centres around identity politics addressing trans uncles and certain elements of Lamar’s relationship with his masculinity in an African-American framework. In featuring black woman, man and child on the cover, Kendrick succeeds in painting the picture of black identity and community to the listener. 

Three Dimensions Deep by Amber Mark 

Shot by Wendy Ngala, ‘Three Dimensions Deep’ marks (no pun intended) Amber Mark’s first album after a series of EPs and singles over a period of four years. The album is dedicated to Mark’s late mother and the ethereal setting created by the graphic design and blue and green tones encapsulates this spiritual and creative mindset of the artist. 

Motomami by Rosalia

Daniel Sannwald is the photographer of this newly iconic cover artwork. Sannwalk works closely with Arca, an experimental trans music from Venezuela. The provocative, queer-coded, anime-nodding image almost broke social media when it was revealed in January of this year. Fans exploded in the comments over the image, which shows the artist naked with her hands covering her intimate parts and wearing a motorcycle helmet, appropriately nodding to the album’s title; Motomami. Across her abdomen are giant M’s written in a graffiti style—almost resembling butterflies. The symbols of the album and this era for the artists marry butterflies with motorbike culture symbolising the softness and strength of a woman. The album’s title was inspired by Rosalia’s own mother who used to drop her off at school on a motorbike. 

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