Illustrated Tapes 140: A Brunch With Mar
Curated by Elijah White

Elijah is an illustrator, designer and printmaker from Manitoba, currently based in Toronto, Canada.

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Hiya Elijah. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Every Saturday morning we used to go to my grandmother's place for brunch. Her cozy little apartment on the 26th floor was always warm, bright, and smelled of all sorts of baked goods and breakfast foods. It's that atmosphere I want to return to with my tape: a sunny late morning summer eating cinnamon buns and drinking coffee with somebody you love. The whole playlist is inspired by my time there and actually follows the beats that I would take to her place each Saturday morning; waking up, a trip to the bakery, a ride in the elevator, and finally emerging in her sunlit apartment on the 26th floor. I even added an extra long ending as the classic jewish goodbye!

My grandmother, Marilyn, was a pretty well traveled woman, and so her music taste followed suit. To capture that, the songs on the tape are some of my favourite selections of jazz, groove, and easy listening from across the globe. This tape is in  honour of Mar and all the light she brought into my life. It's nostalgic, warm, intimate, and elegant - the same  outlook and energy that she brought into this world every Saturday and it's one that I want to share with everybody. A break from the chaos - A brunch with Mar.

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

Like the playlist, I wanted to get that same feeling of afternoon comfort. When I was putting the playlist together, I pictured a woman in her comfiest robe among her flowers and plants. It's certainly how I would want to be while listening to this playlist. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of “a vibe” but I'd be lying if this whole playlist wasn’t created with that specific feeling and look in mind ahah. I also wanted to capture that nostalgic feeling and opted for something more retro and warm than what I usually use - I think it's from an old 70s advertisement if I remember correctly.

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

Bitches Brew – Miles Davis
1970, Columbia
Artwork: Malti Klarwein
Design: John Berg

I think my favourite music to album cover ratio has got to be Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Malti Klarwein’s paintings are already a visual treat but he just absolutely nails the beauty of that album. I think it's so iconic and fun that I can't help but get sucked into playing it every time I pass it in my albums.

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
2014, Olsen
Artwork: Bendik Kaltenborn

Todd Terje’s records are actually what introduced me to one of my biggest inspirations, Bendik Kaltenborn. I was told to check out Todd's music, specifically It’s Album Time, and immediately I fell in love with this sleazy lounge singer on the cover. To me a great album artwork sets the stage for the music you're about to listen to which is why I think Kaltenborn brings a great aesthetic to Terje’s music as it elevates the whole experience for me.

Step II – Sylvester
1978, Fantasy
Design: Dennis Gassner

This album just does it for me in SO many categories, like everything about it hits just right. That funky typeface, the dramatic yet beautifully painted artwork, that classically retro GD - all which fits the music so well. The whole package is pure Queer elegance. I don't feel Sylvester gets the respect he deserves for how forward and beautiful he and this album is.

Discovery – Daft Punk
2001, Virgin
Photogaphy (liquid metal): Mitchell Feinberg

Daft Punk's discovery is my favourite album of all time so I would be remiss to not include it here. They are the masters of less is more and I think that's exemplified no better with the album cover. Like the album itself, It was sleek, bold, and simple. Nobody heard anything like it before - which is what I thought when I first saw that mercury text on black myself.

Futurama – Be-Bop Deluxe
1975, Harvest
Artwork: George Hardie NTA

The Word Is Out – Jermaine Stewart
1984, Virgin / 10 Records
Design: Da Gama
Photography: Andy Earl

La Danse Des Mots – Mon Dino
1983, Disques Zou-A-Ves / Island Records
Artwork: Langlade + Waty

One of my favourite sources of inspiration is actually browsing record stores for album covers and the ones that always blow my mind are the random eps I find. Whenever I'm feeling drained, a trip to the record store usually does me a lot of good. Some of the noteworthy ones I've found are Be-Bop Deluxe’s Futurama, Jermaine Stewart’s The Word Is Out, and Mon Dino’s La Danse De Mots. All of these just popped off the shelf for me and one way or another found aspe themselves in my illustrations

What did you listen to growing up?

As a teen I listened pretty much exclusively to EDM, liquid drum & bass, and dubstep ahah! Which is odd because I barely find myself listening to it much anymore. Not to say that I hate it (I love me a good rave) but I guess I've lost my taste for it. When I moved to Toronto is when my music taste really started to expand as my perspective did but it goes to show how much taste changes with your environment

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

These days my tastes are all over the place ahah.

I'm really loving Kelly Lee Owens' Inner Song at the moment, especially now that it's fully winter here in canada. The whole album has this killer atmosphere and it's so easy to just slip into the nocturnal grooves she lays down. I don't know how to describe it other than perfect winter music and now that it gets dark at 4:30 i really want to grab this one on vinyl

A record on constant repeat for me has to be Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Naughty Boys. YMO is obviously such a legendary group but it's this album that really shows what they can do at their best. My tastes come in waves and whenever I slide back into this album I know there's a lot of new wave and synth pop in my future ahah. it's like slipping into your most luxurious sheets - just feels so classic!

One of my coworkers at work and I constantly recommend each other's music and because of that I've been given a large supply of funk and jazz to listen to as of late! He recently recommended to me The Temptations Sing Smokey which I've been absolutely loving. Some things are classic for a reason ya know?

Finally, my partner just got me Arthur Verocai’s self-titled album for Hanukkah, so I'm really looking forward to spending a morning with that brilliant piece of Brazilian jazz.

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

Honestly not much ahah! The pandemic took a bit of a toll on me in 2020, so I decided to take most of this year off and just soak up the world a bit. Currently I'm in the planning stages for a couple personal projects and gallery exhibitions for this coming year, so look forward to those!

Where can we find you?

My website is I’m not using my instagram much these days but you can find me at

Thanks Elijah!