Starting with T-shirts designed by indie-rock bands, then moving on to the “Indie Rock Coloring Book” and now with “The Indie Rock Poster Book,” this project has been nothing but awesome.
The project this time is beyond cool: YBP has enlisted 30 visual artists from around the globe to create visual interpretations of 30 indie-rock songs. Once completed, the artworks were labeled with the visual artist’s notes on the back and compiled in this oversized book.
As a coffee table book, the compilation is glorious; when you realize that it doubles as 30 frame-ready pieces of artwork (thanks to the easy removal of the posters — a neat foresight on their part), the $25 price should have you salivating.
Those who love the indie aesthetic will find much to love in the posters: from Warhol to Threadless, from collage to minimalism, from hand-drawn to computer-manipulated, almost all branches of modern indie design are represented. It is slightly weighted toward the wide-eyed, roughly animated style (see the cove) that dominates Threadless’ designs, however.
Christopher Everhart’s depiction of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” is beautiful, while Frank Chimero’s elegant, striking piece (inspired by The National’s “So Far Around the Bend”) could stand alone without knowledge of the tune. There are some posters that I find overly simplistic or unappealing, but with the wide array of design styles employed, this is to be expected.
An unexpected bonus is the artists’ commentary on not only their work, but the songs. While Marcus Oakley’s short explanation of his pastel-heavy depiction of “Leslie” by King Creosote is humorous (“I listened to the song and did some daydreaming. I then visualized my daydream”), Dynamo’s notes on “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” by Stars are insightful: “One truth we can all bring away from this haunting, thoughtful song is that, admit it or don’t, no relationship is ever truly over.”
With acts as disparate as Bloc Party, Daniel Johnston, The White Stripes and Neutral Milk Hotel (which gets an especially brilliant treatment, as the band well should) represented, almost any indie-music fan will find a poster for an artist or a song he or she loves. “The Indie Rock Poster Book” should be much more expensive than it is, because it is an absolute gold mine.
Can I put a book on my top 10 albums of the year list?