Fucked Up have re-posted a feature that focuses on their artwork, from key singles to their last album, 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life. Here’s a sampling…
This was the first time we commisioned a photograph for an album cover that wasn’t a picture of the band. Our friend Mimi Cabell (mimicabell.com) took about 600 different shots over a few weeks in midtown Manhattan in July of 2008. What we realized later (by reading the Wikipedia of our own album) is that she’d inadvertently captured Manhattanhenge, where the sunset lines up perfectly with the street grid of New York, something that only happens twice a year, and allows a perfect view of the sunset looking west on the major streets of midtown. The shot is somewhere between 30th and 40th if I remember correctly.
If you look closely you can tell that its not just one image, but a composite of about 35 different shots line up on top of each other, which is why you have some people and cars overlapping, and explains the relative brightness of the sun and the lense flare everywhere. The shot is supposed to represent the main idea behind the record, which is the unity between culture and nature, and the idea that the literal source for all human culture and life is the sun. Even though the title is taken from a 19th century book on wild mushroom identification, what it means for the album is how everything thats cultural about our lives has its source in nature and science, and that there really isn’t a divide between the two spheres. The song “ChemCom” describes the theory of the origin of life on our planet that states that tidepools containing abiotic proteins were zapped by lightning bolts continually for millions of years until finally the electricity (the sun) and chemicals (chemistry) fused to create the first living matter (common life), which describes the title and also the album cover.
You can find the rest of the band’s record sleeve rundown at their official blog.