Yesterday morning I was happily surprised to hear a new track from Fanfarlo on KCRW. The song I heard is called Replicate, and it’s the title track from their new album, Rooms Filled With Light. It’s a pretty fantastic track to a pretty great album, even though I’ve only listened to it once through so far. The song sort of reminds me of something that Owen Pallet might write and arrange, which is a total compliment. I was a big fan of their last album, so I’m really happy to see that their sophomore effort is just as nice. Hopefully they play some small venue here in Los Angeles before they perform at Coachello.
On a side note, does anyone know who took the cover photo above?
Indianapolis-native Nathaniel Russell is an artist with many strings to his bow. Not content with simply drawing and making prints, he also makes shirts, bags, sculptures and posters. On top of that he’s even got his own band, Birds Of America, who sound really good. Oh, and did I mention that he also designs record covers for great bands such as Port O’Brien and Vetiver? All-round he seems like a really talented chap.
His record cover designs are particularly great. His folky lettering is really nice and the way that he combines text with image feels just perfect. It’s a look which also really suits the bands he makes artwork for. Make sure to check out more of his work online by clicking here.
It always a happy surprise when a large mega-brand gets it right, so I have to give props to Starbucks for this one. The cafe is located in Fukuoka, on the grounds of the Dazaifu Tenmagu, a Shinto shrine complex. Designed by Kengo Kuma, the space is filled with long, square blocks which criss-cross around the space, creating what looks like a mathematically constructed nest. It’s interesting to me, that even though the walls and ceilings are mostly covered in wooden beams, the space still seems to be rather open feeling. It would be really wonderful if Starbucks decided to take more chances like this in their other stores around the world.
Irish photographer Clíona O’Flaherty and illustrator Chris Judge recently collaborated in producing and directing a really sweet music video for the singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan. The track is called Safe Travels and the video shows a man making his way across the country to meet with his companion. It all looks amazing and I really like the stylized feel of the imagined rural Ireland of the 1950′s and 60′s.
The central character is adorable and I’m particularly taken by how successful the collaboration is at combining the warmth and beauty of Clíona’s photography with the wit and whimsy of Chris’s illustrations. It just works really well! They’re a perfect duo and I’d love to see more work from them in the future.
Safe Travels is taken from Lisa Hannigan’s album Passenger.
Microsoft has been doing some really interesting things with UI design lately, especially with the Windows Mobile UI in their new phones. So far though, they haven’t quite hit a home-run with their desktop experience, even though it may not be around for much longer. When I came across this UI concept from Sputnik8 I thought it was a really great idea and pretty nicely executed.
I haven’t soaked in all the details and minutia of the design yet, but from a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I think he’s right on point. The Windows Mobile design is nice and flat with big chunks of text, and Sputnik8 has done a great job of carrying this theme over to a desktop experience. It’s also nice to see that the UI is rather tap-able, so perhaps the UI could even be used for a touchable desktop experience, a path that technology is certainly heading down.