Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Campfire Songs’ by Andrea Kalfas

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Campfire Songs' by Andrea Kalfas

Andrea Kalfas

I’m so excited for today’s wallpaper, I think that Baltimore illustrator Andrea Kalfas has made one of the most beautiful wallpapers I’ve ever featured. I’m also really happy that she created a wallpaper for the Animal Collective album Campfire Songs. Not quite an album and not considered an EP, Campfire Songs was recorded by the full roster of Animal Collective, though the Geologist didn’t perform on this one, but it is the first album to feature Deakin. A fun fact, the entire album was recorded in one take on a cold night in Novemeber outside on a screen porch in Maryland.

As for Andrea, she has her BFA in illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and now is a freelance illustrator. Her work is really lighthearted and extremely expressive, with lots of bold lines and inspiring color palettes. The details and textures in her wallpaper are so beautiful, and the subtle touch of purple in the large moth in the front is simply perfection. Here’s what she had to say about her wallpaper:

“Not surprisingly, listening to Campfire Songs led to to the obvious image of sitting around a campfire in the woods at night, but I felt as though I was far away, beyond the reach of the fire and the songs. It felt as though the music wasn’t meant for me, that it was a private concert just for the singer and the insects were the only audience to it. I wanted to draw lots of little nocturnal bugs, flying around and enjoying the music I could only hear from far off, unable to see the performer.”

A big thanks to Andrea for such a lovely wallpaper, and a bigger thank to Andy Mangold for curating this batch of wallpaper and finding such great artists and designers.


Bobby Solomon

August 3, 2011 / By

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Danse Mantaee’ by Jimmy Giegerich

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Danse Mantaee by Jimmy Giegerich

Jimmy Giegerich

It’s our second week of Animal Collective inspired desktop wallpapers, and today we’ve got a totally weird one from Baltimore illustrator Jimmy Geigerich. To be clear though, that’s exactly what this wallpaper should be, because Jimmy got one of the weirdest, most difficult Animal Collective records to interpret, 2001′s Danse Manatee.

Every week I do some research on each album, and a part of that is listening to each album. Danse Manatee was and is incredibly difficult to listen to all the way through. I can handle noisy, but this album is like chaos through organs and drums. This is the first album to feature The Geologist though, who also claims it to be one of his favorite albums. According to Wikipedia, “the band was into extreme frequencies. Their goal was to experiment with intense high and low sounds and how they occupied space in the room and moved around in the listener’s head.” Well, that explains a lot.

Thankfully Jimmy Giegerich had the skills to handle this album. I love Jimmy’s style, he’s like that guy in middle school who would draw the grossest things possible all over his notebooks. Kind of a Pushead meets Japanese culture vibe to his work, it’s fantastic. Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his wallpaper:

I chose to do the piece that I did for a few reasons. Most of my illustration is narrative driven, so I couldn’t help but start to come up with kind of weird ideas for scenes and things while I was listening to the album. What I really like about the album and Animal Collective’s music in general is that their music seems to allow the listener to interpret it in their own way, and that’s kind of what I did here. I drew a whole scene based on different elements of the album, with the main element being based off of the song Meet the Light Child. What really stuck out to me about this song is that it goes from sounding kind of creepy and harsh, to sounding kind of nice and mellow, and back and forth. Like something that is both exciting and frightening at the same time, which is where I came up with the emotions of the figures around the “light child” in my piece. I wanted to go for something that fit well with the mood of the album, but told it’s own weird story at the same time.

I think he did an awesome job, and even though there’s a lot going on, it’s still dark enough to easily see your icons (trust me, I tried it). A big thanks to Andy Mangold yet again for curating this series, he’s done an awesome job so far. Check back next Wednesday for Animal Collective’s Campfire Songs.


Bobby Solomon

July 27, 2011 / By

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished’ by Nick Iluzada

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished' by Nick Iluzada

Nick Iluzada

I’m really excited to share this new Sights & Sounds series, and so happy to see people who are equally excited to create something rad. I’ve been a big Animal Collective fan for years now, and I felt like they had the right vibe to really inspire some great looking wallpapers. Our first wallpaper in the series is for Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. Recorded back in ’99, the album is technically the work of Avey Tare and Panda Bear, the other guys hadn’t joined the group yet, and was heavily inspired by Avey Tare’s move from Baltimore to New York. It’s amazing how you can so easily hear the very foundations of their style in this album. The production, while not the greatest, is the one thing that makes it feel not quite right. Nonetheless, it’s actually a pretty amazing album, Panda Bear’s drumming in particular is something to hear at the very least.

To illustrate the album our fearless curator Andy chose Nick Iluzada, who has one of the coolest last names ever. Before this project I wasn’t familiar with Nick’s illustration work, which is a total shame. Nick has a wonderful sense for color and motion, check out his Footbawlerz series to see exactly what I mean. The variety and creativity in his sketchbooks is also something worth checking out as well.

Here’s what Nick had to say about his wallpaper:

“I created this image simply with the hope of capturing the feel of some specific tracks (most notably Chocolate Girl, Untitled, Someday I’ll Grow To Be As Tall As the Giant, and Alvin Row) with the album title as the jumping off point. While the record sways back and forth between gritty, high-pitched noise and serene textures, I felt that there was some sort of middle ground that could be worked with in terms of bringing the imagery away from it’s Baltimore (make everything neon rainbows) roots and a subdued yet coarse feel would do just the trick.”

A huge thanks to Nick for creating such a beautiful wallpaper and Andy Mangold for choosing such a talented guy. Check back next Wednesday at 10AM PST for the next wallpaper in our series, Animal Collective’s Danse Manatee.


Bobby Solomon

July 20, 2011 / By

Sights & Sounds Presents Animal Collective

Sights & Sounds Presents Animal Collective

It’s been a few months since the last Sights & Sounds wallpapers, so I figured it was time for more music influenced wallpapers. This time around we’re going to visualize the music of Animal Collective, the Baltimore based weirdo-rock outfit who are always expanding their sound.

To curate this round of wallpapers, I’ve asked Baltimore designer Andy Mangold to gather the troops and create a well-rounded group of creative individuals. Andy is a phenomenal graphic designer who creates inventive logos, beautiful posters, creative branding and so much more. He’s also the founder of Friends of the Web, a team of designers building websites and mobile apps, as well as Love & Utility, which collects beautiful paraphernalia.

There are eight wallpapers total, and I promise that all of them are stunning. I was really excited by how well they all turned out. I think you’ll be excited too. The first wallpaper will be released at 10AM PST, so be sure to check it out and come back every Wednesday for more.


Bobby Solomon

July 20, 2011 / By

Sights & Sounds Presents Broken Social Scene: ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’ by Alex Westgate

Alex Westgate

Well, we’re finishing up our second Sights & Sounds wallpaper series devoted to Broken Social Scene, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. For BSS’s last and most recent record, Forgiveness Rock Record, we’ve got Alex Westgate, a fantastic illustrator and designer. Alex is currently studying at Ontario College of Art & Design but you can tell he’sn already is a really talented artist.

As for his wallpaper, Alex decided to take a nostalgic look at the album:

For my wallpaper I chose to focus in on the song that I felt best represented the feel and “forgiveness” theme of the album. “Sentimental X’s” is a song that undoubtably deals with the bands off and on dynamic. Emily Haines sings ” A friend of a friend you used to call. Or a friend of a friend you used. You used to call.” To me the song is about forgotten, neglected friendships and the strong emotional ties that can be formed between two people. The idea that even when a relationship is taken for granted the bond that exists between both parties is never broken. I wanted to show this through the relationship we have with material objects and the meaning we give to them, things like toys from our childhood and other objects we no longer have use for. We store them away and may never touch or even look at them for years but because of our sentimental ties, we cannot bare to part with them.

Super rad, thanks so much Alex. And yet again, a huge thanks to Andrew & Matt McCracken of Doublenaut for gathering together such an awesome crew of creative folks from Toronto. If you haven’t seen the other Broken Social Scene wallpapers be sure to click here. We’ll be back to some non-music related wallpapers next week, and in a little bit we’ll start up a new Sights & Sounds.


Bobby Solomon

April 20, 2011 / By