Under The Cover:
Your Hero Is Not Dead
Your Hero Is Not Dead is the debut album from acclaimed London based artist [Will] Westerman. After releasing a series of folky, guitar based tracks in 2016, Westerman began working with the artist and producer Bullion, and carved out his unique style of ambient, electronic pop (although the guitar is still very much present). We spoke to Will about the process of deciding on the artwork for the record.
Bráulio (Amado) and I spent a lot of time on the illustrations and the album artwork - there was a lot of thought that went into it. He had designed the vinyl sleeve for this cover compilation that my friend Nathan (Bullion) made, and I really liked that. I was talking to a few different people about designing it at the time, but then I was out in New York where Bráulio lives, so I decided to hit him up for a beer and we just got on really well. I’ve been super happy working with him, it’s been really lovely to get to know him and he’s very gifted. I tend to make my decisions based on how well I get on with people—it allows for more open, creative discussions. The photographs used for the artwork are taken by another friend, Bex Day who I’ve been taking pictures with for years now.
Designing the record was kind of a process, a bit like how the aesthetics of the music ended up in that I write the songs and we frame them and try them in different ways. I had some principles that I wanted, then it was a process of building on that and trying different things. I have different colour schemes for all of the tracks, and my idea was to try and match the colour scheme to each track to fit what I feel is the emotion of the song, and then to have that presented as different colours in the spectrum and an overall impression of white.
I wanted there to be a reflective property to the vinyl itself, so that people would be able to see themselves when they picked it up. Making the record, I was thinking about this idea of the heroic character and the slightly removed and inhuman characteristics of these heroic figures that we hold up as these bastions of righteousness or strength or power or whatever, so I was just playing around with that idea and trying to invert it. I basically wanted people to be able to see themselves with those properties surrounding them as a way of finding those principles internally and not having to look outside for those sources.
When we finished it, intuitively it felt kind of correct, I mean there’s any number of ways we could have done it I suppose but it definitely felt in the right spirit, of how we made the music. I definitely didn’t envisage what we finished with at the start but I think that’s the beauty of working with other people - seeing how things can develop.