watch Jehnny Beth’s album cover get made (NSFW), listen to her favorite albums of 2020
Savages singer Jehnny Beth released her sleek and stylish solo debut, To Love is to Live, in June. The record features production by Flood, Atticus Ross, and her partner Johnny Hostile, as well as appearances from Joe Talbot of IDLES, Romy Madley Croft of The xx, and actor Cillian Murphy. None of them overshadowed Jehnny, though, who is clearly in full control of her sound, which here is more atmospheric and cinematic than that of Savages. You can listen to the album below.
The cover art to To Love Is to Live, featuring Jehnny Beth in digital sculpture form, is as striking as the music. She worked with artist Tom Hingston and choreographer Natricia Bernard, and was scanned in 3D for it. Jehnny Beth talked to Hero magazine about baring herself in the process:
When I started working on the music with Johnny Hostile, we started writing songs and thinking of who we could work with. We instantly started to take pictures because we thought that if we’re doing demos of the music, we want to do demos of the image as well. I had this idea of showing the body very muscley, the way bodybuilders do. I liked the idea of a representation of me that wouldn’t be a picture of me, wouldn’t be literal, so a statue was a very good idea. We started taking pictures of me oiled up, the way bodybuilders do, with this sort of shiny blue or even grey, silver skin. We thought that was a good start to show vulnerability in the eye, but strength with the muscles. It was a good contrast.
You can watch a documentary short about the making of the artwork, which is NSFW, below.
Meanwhile, we've been asking artists to tell us about their favorite music of the year and Jehnny gave us her "Hero List" which includes IDLES, Tricky, Nine Inch Nails, Jarvis Cocker, Billy Nomates, and more. "I think that artists who have decided to release an album in 2020 should be given a medal," Jehnny tells us. "Trust my experience, this was the worst year to put out a record BUT we were still lucky that some didn’t back down and went for it anyway." Check out her list, and a playlist of all the albums on the list, below.
Jehnny Beth also hosted a streaming special, Echoes, that features Kim Gordon, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, and Black Country, New Road. Recorded just before pandemic lockdown but not aired till this month, it mixes performance and conversation and you can watch that below.
JEHNNY BETH - TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2020
billy nomates - s/t
emel - tunis diaries
idles - ultra mono
fontaines dc - a hero’s death
NIN - ghosts V & VI
Rone - room with a view
tricky - fall to pieces
JARV IS... - beyond the pale
Ezra Furman - sex education original soundtrack
Logic - no pressure