Under The Cover:
'Uppers' by TV Priest
TV Priest are a four piece band from London. Childhood friends who spent their teenage years playing in bands together, they reunited in 2019 and have been winning fans with their boisterous, melodic post-punk ever since. Their debut album 'Uppers' is out on Sup Pop this month. Ahead of its release, frontman Charlie Drinkwater—who has previously worked as a creative director with Fontaines D.C., Sigrid and Sports Team— talks to Hook about the process behind the record's artwork:
The photographs on the front and back of the cover were taken by our friend Morgan Hill Murphy. I had admired Morgan’s work for a long time on instagram and kind of inserted myself into his life and we became friends! We’d worked on a few projects with other people before but this was the first time we managed to work on something for the band. As we do a lot of artwork ourselves think I’m always looking for people who can bring themselves to the work and let them kind of have the creative space and freedom to interpret the music and do what they want. Hopefully that way the artwork becomes greater than the sum of its parts!
We spoke a lot about the feeling of the record and how it came about, the time and context it would be released in. It’s a self produced album and that got us thinking about the pervasive ‘DIY’ aesthetic that often applies to music seen as ‘punk’. We wanted something that hinted at that but also felt abstract and modern, not a rehash of a style or format visually. We were putting the art together remotely at the time of the first lockdown, so we started to think about these do it yourself principles and using what was close in our domestic setting to create an image. This led us on to researching a lot of Dutch Masters' still life paintings. We referenced the painter Pieter Claesz quite a lot, there is a really beautiful painting called ‘Still Life With A Crab’. There was this odd kind of correlation in focusing in on subjects and objects that were close at hand to make art, and it all seemed to fit with the message of the album too. Morgan shot the images in his living room, developed and printed them and then sent them to me, I did all the layouts, art working and the poster inside. The insert is a giant poster of people, places and things that have shaped us as people. It was a little way to say thank you for everything over the years I suppose.
I’d like to think it gives a good indication of how the record sounds. I think it conjures up a sense of foreboding but also has some humour to it, think the record has that. I like the vivid shock of colour in the oranges and think this is something we often do sonically with an intense or dissonant sound or tone.