It’s said that the rise of science fiction literature and film as a popular genre in the 1950’s was from a need for an outlet for America’s fears stemming from the Cold War. The end of the world due to nuclear holocaust or invasion by Russia was an all-too real dark cloud hanging over the consciousness of the average person. Science fiction helped by compartmentalizing these fears into tidy, otherworldly stories with a beginning and ending (hopefully a happy ending.)
Looking at a list of new music releases by a wide range of bands yesterday, I was struck by a commonality in many of the album cover designs. There’s a definite pattern of portraying people (usually women) wearing masks, or having their faces obscured. So, if art reflects the current social, cultural, and political, climate what then does this sudden trend in album cover design say?
Is it an unconscious comment on people being more anonymous in their everyday lives, through the use of technology? With Facebook, Twitter, etc., people can have different persona’s, portray themselves in many ways, hide behind virtual masks.
Or is this trend a reflection of something else entirely?
Let’s have a look at a selection of these covers, all works released this summer: