Illustrated Tapes 134: Songs to Cook to After a Bad Day
Curated by Addyson Brough

Addyson is an illustrator based in Derbyshire, UK.

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Hey Addyson. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hi there! My tape was formulated after finishing my dissertation in 2020, when all I felt was BLEH but wanted to still find joy in the small bits of my post-diss life, such as cooking for myself. I thought about the songs that made me feel good and made me want to get up and do things at the time, which consisted of George Micheal and 80s Japanese pop, and the tape just rolled on from there. It’s been curated over the past year so there are different bits of me constantly going into it, as I listen to it frequently.

Unlike some of the songs I listen to now, where they’re more tethered to a time and place, the songs on this are more of a headspace when I want to put myself in a more independent space that’s separate from the stuff happening in my day-to-day life. Feel free to listen in order, or do as I do and shuffle and skip til you find the song that fits your vibe.

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

The original direction I wanted to take the tape in was to have someone surrounded by a lot of deadlines and sad things and bad weather, but then have another version of them with headphones on and it’s all ok and they’re feeling less stressed. I realised this was a bit too much for what I wanted, so I thought about how good it is to listen to music and eat a good bowl of soup after a bad day, so I merged all 3 of those things together!

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

For an illustrator I very rarely pay attention to an album cover and I have no idea why! From the rotation of music I listen to on a daily basis here are 3 that i enjoy:

Bury Me At Make Out Creek – Mitski
2014, Double Double Whammy
Artwork: Mitski 

I realise it’s not an illustration, but the geometric shapes of the office building and the dull colours with one window open just really feel right for this album as a whole. The stuck on text? Perfect. The album itself is one of my go-tos, so Mitski if you’re reading this hire me to illustrate your next album babes xxx (favourite song: ‘Last Words Of A Shooting Star’.)

Artpop – Lady Gaga
2014, Streamline / Interscope
Artwork: Jeff Koons

I was shown this album by my great pal Caitlin when we were 16/17 for the first time and I ultimately fell in love. The cover art for this completely visualises the expressionism shown in this album and Gaga didn’t hold back. 10/10 every song is a banger (favourite song: ‘Venus’.)

Over The Garden Wall [soundtrack] – The Blasting Company
2016, Mondo
Artwork: Sam Wolfe Connelly
Such a sweet cover for such a dark, autumnal cartoon. The tradition started in my second year of university to watch it every October, and I’ve done it for the past 3 years (19, 20, 21). The paper cut out in the lanturn is extremely delicate which matches up with the music throughout the show, especially in the earlier episodes, and I love the cornfield and the Beast’s hand behind them. If you haven’t watched it, what are you actually doing every october? (favourite song: ‘Send Me A Peach’.)

What did you listen to growing up?

Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, and Bon Jovi was what my mum and dad played in the car growing up, and my brother and sister (who were 14 and 16 around the time I started paying attention to music) would listen to Gorillaz albums Demon Days and an everlasting personal favourite of mine, Plastic Beach. When I was 11/12, my auntie Catherine would play a LOT of Adele’s album 21 (as she should), and I think it’s given me an overall solid musical upbringing.

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

I’m such a stickler for just playing the same songs over and over again. Currently I’m listening to playlists I made when I was 16/17 and falling in love for the first time and travelling to Reykjavik, which is a strange place to listen back to. Songs include ‘Oh Devil’ by Electric Guest (I’d listen to this a lot on the bus to college and on the train up to my ex) and ‘Ever Since New York’ by Harry Styles (listened on repeat in the coach in Iceland after a day of exploring, specifically the day I fell over next to a glacier and coming back the sky was pink). Also songs from animated series or films seem to be up my street right now, so think Over The Garden Wall, How to Train your Dragon and Howl’s Moving Castle.

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

Postgrad burnout has truly got its grip on me - however recently I was Highly Commended in the World Illustration Awards for my Macbeth book cover, and I recently found out that I was selected to be a mentee in the Arena’s mentorship program which are both super cool things to happen and be part of! You can view my WIA entry here.

Where can we find you

@gaptoof_ on Instagram and Twitter, and my website is :-)

Thanks Addyson! 👋🏽