Illustrated Tapes 166: SUP Songs

✏️ Toucan Tango
🗓 23.06.22


Toucan Tango aka Scott & Luce are a duo of illustrators, designers and screenprinters based in New Brighton, Wirral, UK

Hey Scott and Luce! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hello! We’ve gone for a bunch of tunes taken from playlists we made from our first year of getting SUP Shop open. When we started we would just throw in a bunch of songs we already loved, music recommendations from friends and songs we heard on the radio. To our delight, after we got open we’d get a lot of comments from customers on how much they enjoy the music we had playing. So now we regularly make playlists for the shop so people can go through what they listened to when they visited.

Its ended up being a pot of cheery picked tunes from a few specific styles of music including some country, ethio jazz, afrobeat, Japanese disco, punk and pop. A wide selection but it sets a nice vibe for us whilst we work and customers in shopping or enjoying a drink.

Honourable mention to Eli Winter and Cameron Knowler who played the shop recently whilst on their European tour. You should check out their work and other artists on Worried Songs.

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

This illustration is supposed to be us as toucans painting the interior of the shop pre-opening. We went quite literal here. But if we look into it I guess we can say the lines represents my (Scott) and Luce’s styles meeting somewhere in the middle (Yeah let’s go for that). Process wise I always start in pencil and depending on time restraints I would jump into ink and manipulate digitally after, but in this case I had to jump into digital straight after pencil. Using a mix of Illustrator and photoshop and using my trackpad as I had to do it whilst covering a shift down the shop.

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

I always love the artwork on the Parquet Courts albums done by Andrew Savage. Not just great music but his artwork is great. We also made a poster for their Liverpool show a few years back and got to meet him and he was a lovely fella.

Sympathy for Life – Parquet Courts
2021, Rough Trade
Artwork: Andrew Savage

An inspirational one for design for me was a Beck album called The Information. Not my favourite of his albums musically but the album came with packs of stickers so you could make your own album cover. The stickers were designed by 20 different artists.

The Information – Beck
2006, Interscope
Design: Mat Maitland

A big inspiration for us is also retro albums from the likes of afrobeat and jazz artists. A lot are super colourful and have a raw handmade asthetic that we draw a lot of inspiration from. I find I mostly buy my second hand vinyl based on this look.

Fela Kuti X Online Ceramics Capsule Collection 2020

Creamy – Johnny Hodges
1955, Verve Records
Cover art: David Stone Martin

We’ve been diving through the vast archive of Paul McCartney’s back catalogue over the past couple of years. We may be forgiven for not really listening to too much of his work in the past as we get a bit of Beatles fatigue living in Liverpool. But RAM by Linda and Paul is class and the artwork is also great which Paul made himself.

RAM – Paul and Linda McCartney
1971, Apple Records
Cover art: Paul McCartney
Cover photo: Linda McCartney

Lastly we’d just like to mention this album cover from Pigs x7 from King of Cowards by Sophy Hollington. Her work is awesome and a great inspiration.

King of Cowards – Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
2018, Rocket Recordings
Artwork: Sophy Hollington

What did you listen to growing up?

I (Scott) listened to stuff like the Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters and Beck when I used to skate up to about 18, then college to uni got into the whole indie scene with the likes of Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys etc etc. After got into my more electronic-indie-punk stuff with LCD Soundsystem, Chemical Brothers and Hot Chip. Luce is ill at the mo so the little I could get out of her in her feverish daze was Westlife into Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

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

At the moment I’ve been going through the back catalogue of Michael Hurley who I am newish to after my brother in law introduced me to him. Luce has been loving Billy Nomates. Then lots of The Oh Sees as I am still bitter I missed their gig in Liverpool last year after I got covid from seeing Mulatu Astatke, who was on heavy rotation before Michael Hurley.

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

I’ve been really struggling the past two years to make stuff if it isn’t a piece of freelance work. We’ve had a bit of added pressure with the shop and I’ve sort of come to a brick wall creatively. I find music does help to be some creative kindling and if it wasn’t for recent gig poster commissions I think we’d be at the grand total of one new illustration this year. I’m getting out of this groove though and trying to be positive whilst finding a better working pattern.

Where can we find you?

Thanks pals 👋🏽