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Pedro the Lion fans had something to look forward to last week as the band surprise released their latest album. Havasu. This record is the second part of a planned series tracing singer and guitarist David Bazan’s childhood experiences and the past homes he lived in on his first album. phoenixThe series spanned five albums, culminating in Seattle, but Bazin abandoned that name in 2005, choosing to record under his own name, so this collection is based on Bazin’s It marks the return of the nickname Pedro the Lion.

To create a tapestry of past homes for the album art, Bazin commissioned frequent collaborator and designer Jesse LeDoux. phoenix. The art for both records uses photographs taken by Bazin at each location, incorporating various patterns and textures throughout a series of pool-like masses.

We caught up with Jesse via email to ask him about creating the album art for Pedro the Lion’s new record and its deeply nostalgic vibe.

What was your initial concept for the album art and how did you execute it?

Before you start phoenix, Dave came to me and said he wanted to make five albums that loosely traced his life starting in Phoenix and ending in Seattle. Essentially designing his five albums at once, each one had a consistency throughout the record through things like color, photos of each town Dave took, and subtle changes in the shape of the jacket. We have developed a system to make your album unique.

Ryan Russell took some great photos of the band recording Phoenix. He used one of them for an interior double-page spread, so he’s locked in for subsequent photos, whether he likes it or not. I’m really looking forward to the other records coming out and people being able to see the arc that we’ve created.

don’t go at all airheads But when I think about Arizona (and covers), I love the pool-esque aesthetic that went into this project. What exactly was the central motif of the design? Are there any elements of nostalgia baked into it?

Nostalgia plays a strong role in the artwork, as these albums reflect Dave’s life. The photos used on the cover were taken in places where he spent his childhood, including his backyard pool, the texture of the walls of his childhood home, and the places he often played, all of which tied into the color palette. Masu.

album art of phoenix.

In Phoenix, the deep maroon color of the Phoenix landscape contrasted with the bright blue of the pools found in many backyards. With Havasu, the scenery changes to the deep blues and beiges of Lake Havasu. The Bazins moved west from Havasu. This change notifies the palette of upcoming records.

How long have you been working with David? How would you describe your relationships at work?

Dave and I have worked together on and off since 1999. The first time we worked together was when I was his director of art at Sub Pop Records and we laid out singles for Singles Club. From there we became friends and roommates for a short time.he asked me to pack achilles tendonAnd we worked together on the biannual Christmas singles he released for Suicide Squeeze Records. And I’ve worked on several other singles, merch, posters, and various other things over the years.

So if Dave asks me to do something, my answer is always (and always will be) YES. He is a great person, collaborator, client, and friend. It’s not a bad thing that I love his music.

pedro the lions Havasu You can now stream music anywhere with Bandcamp. As always, if you like it, don’t just stream it, buy it.

Art direction: Jesse Ledoux

Cover photo: David Bazan

Studio photo: Ryan Russell

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