Under The Cover:
Jynx is the second album from Aaberg, aka Hunter Mockett. Both hypnotic and haunting, his self-produced music is often described as 'dreamlike', and the visual used for Jynx's artwork comes across much the same way. We asked Hunter to describe the thought process behind the picture he chose (although he wouldn't tell us where the mysterious image actually came from.)
The album was initially meant to show a kind of playful tenderness coupled with a more abrasive, violent side. I think in the end the darker elements took over and this is reflected in the artwork. To me the album is a kind of paranoid, claustrophobic fairy tale that moves relentlessly downward and keeps you there until eventually some kind of light shines through. A campfire is a way to express this visually; you begin as the sun goes down and through the night things get a bit strange and unfamiliar, but eventually the sun comes back up and you see things as they are.
The image on the cover might capture a moment during that narrative, but I think it also captures a feeling that is present throughout; a sort of fearful euphoria at making yourself so vulnerable to your surroundings.
A lot of the tracks on Jynx are a bit harder and more abrasive than on previous releases. There is an apprehension to them which I’ve seen visually expressed by Edward Hopper. His work was a big influence on the choosing of this image. Two of Hopper’s paintings, ‘Cape Cod Evening’ and ‘Gas’ show potentially jovial scenes, but the woods in the background betray a darkness which seems to go unnoticed by the subjects, though they are clearly affected by it. On the Jynx cover there is a warmth and camaraderie present but also an impending ambivalence of the environment. The image could be either idyllic or malevolent. The faces of the figures around the fire are blank and hard to read too, something which makes Hopper’s paintings so ambiguous. The darkness could be coming from them just as much as from the surrounding trees.
The tension between man and nature in Hopper’s work results in a sort of unspoken alienation. He can make even cheerful scenes seem depressing and distant. That’s definitely something I find interesting when I come across it in music, when a song can make you feel both happy and sad at the same time. It’s similar to the kind of contrast I tried to capture on the album as a whole, but I think the emotions at either end are tweaked from song to song.