🎵 IT113: Deep Blue Joy
✏️ Wolfe Erikson
🗓 05.06.21

Wolfe is a designer, illustrator and artist based in Seattle, Washington.

Howdy Wolfe. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

‘Deep Blue Joy’ speaks to the ambivalence of nostalgia. There’s a pain to it for sure, but it’s also wrapped up in familiarity, comfort, and joy. The playlist features work from artists like William Basinski, Julia Holter, and Julia Byrne who display really interesting examples of sonic decay in their music – which I think is a perfect metaphor for the concept. Each sound dies as soon as it begins and blending notes to create an incredibly romantic soundscape.

What direction did you take with your cover art, and what was your process?

I wanted to juxtapose the concept of the album with a very graphic illustration, almost reading like an IKEA manual. It was important to me to have a very clear storyline to try and communicate this abstract concept with as much clarity as possible. The broken vase is inspired by when Ai Weiwei dropped the Han dynasty urn, which to me, is an incredible display of transformation. The past only carries meaning if we hold onto it, we always have a choice to let it go.

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

I think Aaron Lowell is doing some really interesting things. His work feels so referential from design movements in the past but feels so fresh. Once you recognize his style you’ll start seeing it everywhere in the music industry.

Ultrasonic [special edition accompanying print] – Field Words
2020, Temporary Residence
Artwork: Aaron Lowell

I also adore the band YACHT. Jona and Claire are musical and visual powerhouses. There is such playfulness in how they work. Their constant experimentation with technology and art inspires me greatly.

Chain Tripping – YACHT
2019, DFA
Artwork: Tom White (drib.net)
Typography: Barney McCann, Donald Knuth, Mario Klingemann, Samuel Diggins, Tero Parviainen
Photography: Jaclyn Campanaro

These stills are from their 2019 album Chain Tripping. The visuals to accompany the album are all generative works and AI-created. They even scraped the fonts off the web and ran them through a program to generate their logo. Everything came together to create something really special.

What did you listen to growing up?

I grew up in a classic rock household. Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles were all in constant rotation. The first album I ever owned was Oh Inverted World by The Shins, and that was the album that opened up my music taste.

And what’s on heavy rotation for you at the moment?

I’ve been so into anything with super fuzzy and distorted guitar jams. Anything from classic rock like Fanny, (their track ‘Aint that Peculiar’ is so good) or newer releases like The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues by Nancy

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

I’m juggling several projects at the moment, but I'm mostly preparing to attend Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in a few months. The program will allow me to explore technology and art in ways I haven’t been able to and I am thrilled.

You can check out more about CIID here: ciid.dk

Where can we find you?

︎ wolfe-erikson.design
︎ wolfeerikson.design
︎ boy.cried.wolfe

Thanks, Wolfe!

William Basinski - Melancholia II / Active Child - Color Me - Julia Holter Remix / Wildlife Freeway - Clouds / Lyra Pramuk - Tendril / Thom Yorke - Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain) / Roger Eno - Blonde / Erland Cooper - First of the Tide / Prefab Sprout - I Trawl the Megahertz / Haiku Salut - Pattern Thinker / Teleman - Sea Of Wine / Shards - Inside I'll Sing / Muzz - Summer Love / ML Buch - I'm A Girl You Can Hold IRL / Arcade Fire - Song on the Beach / Electrelane - You Make Me Weak At the Knees / Sufjan Stevens - Lamentation I / Julie Byrne - Love's Refrain / Gia Margaret - apathy ︎