Midwest Hiphop duo Strangers Of Necessity drop their new single “Abundance”

Strangers Of Necessity are an American hip-hop duo, based in the Midwest, consisting of prolific producer, CoryaYo and veteran lyricist, Fooch the MC. They linked via Twitter and quickly became friends, sparking an immediate chemistry and need to make quality music together; hence the name Strangers Of Necessity. They instantly began recording music and doing shows locally, generating a nice buzz in the area. Their sound is best described as a fresh take on that golden era of hip-hop, blending tasteful jazz and soul samples, crisp snares, boomy kicks on wonky patterns with a soulful delivery, dense schemes and potent

Kilo M.O.E. – ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’ – serves as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism

The Baltimore-based producer, songwriter, rapper, Kilo M.O.E.’s evolution over his past three albums has been inspiring to see. I’ll always admire artists who push themselves creatively, and that’s exactly what, Kilo M.O.E. has done on his fourth studio album, ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’, and it pays off in leaps and bounds. Each instrumental is rich and developed, serving as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism. Something that this recording and Kilo M.O.E.’s recent albums have done well is allow him the freedom to rap for the sake of his craft within the confines of the album’s larger

Jim Wyly – “You Took Me” – It’s rhythmically tight, warm and edgy

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Hanen Release Brand New Video For The Song “Breathe”

It’s never been easier for artists to stay independent. Of course you can get good music producers, good visual directors for videos, good rappers and good singers to feature on your track without a great budget, but you have to search the world over to find deals you can afford, or convince creatives to work with you. Texas born artist, now living in the LA area, Hanen, somehow got it all together on his latest track called “Breathe”. He sings soulfully and raps with an urban edge all by himself, backed by an atmospheric slow-burning, and ear-warming beat made by

Angry B – “Hey Corona! (Nice to Meet Ya)” – reflects the realities with a good dose of wit

On his latest single, “Hey Corona! (Nice to Meet Ya)”, underground music hobbyist Angry B pinned his rap skills and dark wit, to the sounds of mainstream pop and a funky EDM template. He blurs the lines between genres with the top of the charts — and only the top — in his sights. As can be deciphered from the song title, Angry B pulls his aspirations from the dramatic Covid-19 disease hitting mankind across the globe. “It’s one of the most critical situations we’ve had and there will be a lot of sad stories connected with it,” says Angry

Izzie’s Caravan – “Leo’s Guitar EP” – an understated guitar virtuoso

On the recording, “Leo’s Guitar EP”, Izzie’s Caravan and his guitar conspire to use every single crayon within the blue color box to deliver one of the best underground independent studio blues releases I’ve heard this year. Among others, Izzie takes his cue from greats such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, and Eric Clapton. So you can expect a wide and wholesome finger bending spectrum of sounds. The aforementioned guitar heroes are points of reference, not simple deductions for resemblance. The opening song, “Two’s In The Bush”, has a highway drive, and jangly timbre that’s upbeat and

‘Mind Blown’ – The Video and Brand New Single by EyeKonic

EyeKonik is an artist with a focus on creating punchy and appealing pop music with a personal twist. Recently, he released a brand new single called ‘Mind Blown’. What really makes this track stands out is definitely the fact that it’s so well produced, and the performance value is excellent as well. EyeKonik sings with passion and intensity, and the artist’s vocals soar through the atmospheric melodies and punchy tones of this mix. Fans of artists as diverse as Mac Miller, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Eminem are definitely going to enjoy this amazing single. Check out the newly released music

Sundance Jump with W. Dire Wolff release the Indie Rock Video “Zodiac Killer”

Zodiac Killer is a wild Indie Rock song with crazy slide guitar laid over a rockabilly beat. The song is about a woman who frequents a night club called Zodiacs by nights, and cruises around town by day. Deep Purple Sage is a CD, Vinyl, and Digital release by Sundance Jump with W. Dire Wolff. The album blends Alternative Rock with Psychedelic Acid Rock. Recorded in Joshua Tree, California at Skylab Studios; the album has an underlying desert theme.  The LP is recorded in the old school style of Acid Rock vintage tube amp guitar sounds, mixed through analog

THE BRKN DEBUT EP ‘NO. 3’ OUT NOW VIA INGROOVES

FRONTMAN JACOB CADE’S ‘ACOUSTIC HANG WITH JACOB FROM THE BRKN’ WILL LIVE STREAM VIA THE BANDS INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK THROUGH THE END OF APRIL AT 6PM PST/7PM MST/9PM EST THE BRKN recently released their debut EP No. 3 via Right Brain Music Group/Ingrooves. Their new video for their song “Broke” has garnered over 100 views in just two weeks. Since the band’s spring tours have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus, frontman Jacob Cade will be live streaming acoustic sessions every Tuesday through April via the band’s Facebook and Instagram. Tune in at 6PM PST/7PM MST/9PM EST at https://instagram.com/thebrkn or https://facebook.com/thebrkn and #BeatTheVirusWithTheBRKN. “We’re

D-Witt flexes the pen of a budding cinematic storyteller

I recently heard about an artist called D-Witt from Rockford, IL.  Illinois is the home of some prestigious sons who have left unforgettable marks on hip-hop’s history. I’m expecting an unfiltered rebel who is unafraid to bare his soul and burn down buildings. A fearless heart is a quality that makes fearless art, and I hope that’s exactly what D-Witt has arrived to present us.  So I press play on the first track called “Enemy”. The sound is open and strong-willed. There’s no doubting that D-Witt has something to say. The amount of care that goes into his lyricism stamps

Announcing the 2015 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

Latest class of honorees in the 7 major categories – as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging – represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, with many recognized names from the fine art and design world.

Portland, OR – based organization selects the designers, illustrators, photographers, art directors and patrons whose works were released between the years 1960 – Present.

Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve inducted three classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys (the initial classes focused on nominees who began their careers as album cover artists between the years 1960 – 1975, 1976 – 1990 and, last year, from 1991 – present). Nearly 200 additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.

This year’s Class is the first one that allowed for the consideration of any talent not previously inducted into the ACHOF. The people under consideration this year are people who BEGAN their careers in the field at any time during the period the ACHOF focuses its attention on  –1960 – present. As you can figure, this was a very long list, but after a research, nominating and voting process that began in September and ended in late-November with our final vote, the ACHOF Voting Panel has selected a list of individuals and companies that very clearly represent the best examples of a large number of talented men, women and teams who’ve cumulatively created and published a huge portfolio of memorable album cover images and record packages.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Curator/Editor Mike Goldstein had this to say about this year’s efforts – “Through the ongoing efforts of those who support of this Hall of Fame, our goal continues to be to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact in the ongoing development and advancement of rock and roll album cover-related art direction, illustration, photography and package design. Based on each inductee’s body of work in the field, we feel that their talents have exemplified the best possible efforts made to package and promote their clients’ recorded music, and so we’re privileged to have been able to include them in this year’s poll and, ultimately, our lists of honorees.”

We’ve divided the Inductees into their respective categories so that our readers can get to know each winner individually and within their group of peers. Below, you’ll find a summary of the winners in each category. A more-detailed document that includes samples of each Inductees album cover credits, along with links to their respective web sites, can be found on the ACHOF site at

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2015-inductee-intro-page/

Please note that some names will be seen in more than one category, as it is that certain individuals serve in more than one role in a project. Inductees are listed alphabetically:

Album Cover Photographer Inductees 

Ø Richard Avedon, Michael Cooper, Karl Ferris, Jim McCrary and Ethan Russell

Album Cover Illustrators (inc. those specializing in logos and typography)

Ø Abdul Mati Klarwein, James Marsh; Martin Sharp, Drew Struzan and Philip Travers

Album Cover Designer Inductees

Ø Sir Peter Blake, Bob Cato, William S. “Bill” Harvey, Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell) and John Kosh

Album Cover Art Director Inductees

Ø John Berg, Bob Cato, Ernie Cefalu, Mike Doud and Paula Scher

Individual Achievement Award Winner 

Included in this category are designers, illustrators, photographers and art directors who, while not working primarily in the music-packaging field, created a memorable album cover. In some cases, the nominee may have had his/her career cut short due to illness or death (a condition that seems to have plagued the burgeoning recorded music industry), while in other examples, an artist’s talents in one specialty were noted and they were then asked to apply those talents in some unique way to an album cover project. In more than one instance, the nominee was a friend/relative/business associate/guru of someone related to the featured musical act and, therefore, entrusted with this important responsibility. Regardless of the circumstances, each nominee has left an indelible mark on the art of the album cover.

Ø Lee Conklin, Illustrator (Santana by Santana) and Vic Singh, Photographer (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd)

Inducted Record Labels 

In as much as “pop” music in the early days of the Pop/Rock era included musical acts that easily crossed-over from jazz, R&B, country, folk and Rock & Roll to deliver music in many styles to a public hungry for their records, record companies were not eager to be classified and chose to make sure that their cover designs would appeal to a fairly broad audience.

However, many musical artists sought to team with like-minded art directors to create packaging for music that would best-represent their own feelings about how they’d like the buying public to perceive them and their music. Once shown to be effective marketing tools, trend-setting album cover design was embraced by certain record labels, who then – as a prelude to the big-budget video productions of the 1980s and 90s – put significant resources behind these promotional packages. It is the labels that showed this type of forethought that we look to honor in this category.

Ø Atlantic/Atco, Charisma and Parlophone

Inducted Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery

Of course, without the patronage of musical acts and their record labels, there would be no great album cover art, but there were some acts that “got it” better than others and used their cover imagery to both help set the mood for the music packaged inside and build a deeper bond with their fans and potential fans. At times, a great album cover image could be a powerful enticement to shoppers browsing the racks at their favorite record store, whereas some fans of a band viewed them as “rewards” given to those who’d waited patiently for an act’s next release.

With the strong connection evident between the visual and aural arts, it only seems natural that musicians would find kindred spirits in the men and women tasked to produce the images for their recorded music.

Ø King Crimson, The Moody Blues and Supertramp

Going forward, the Nominating Panel – currently consisting of over 75 experts in the fields of packaging design, illustration, photography and music product marketing – will continue the process each year (beginning again in Summer 2016 to nominate the fifth class of Inductees representing those whose works were published any time during the period of 1960 – present) by selecting nominees in each of the featured categories for consideration by both that voting body and, in several categories, by registered fans of the ACHOF, and those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted.

Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 5 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image.

To see a list of all of the current inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame, please visit – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-inductee-list-main-page/

Please contact Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com with any questions or comments. He can be reached via email at mailto:curator@albumcoverhalloffame.com or via phone at 971-645-8958.

 News stories about album cover art and artists are added 5X per week on our site and on the site’s Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame

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