A running deer, dancing couples, flowers blooming. Phenakistoscopes were early one-person cinemas, decorated wheels that animate motion if spun around. The cover art of So Long, See You Tomorrow, indie quartet Bombay Bicycle Club’s fourth album, draws on the repetitive nature of the phenakistoscope. The wheel tells a story, but will always return to the same point, forever trapped in a circle.
Inspired by the stop-motion images of nineteenth-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge and designed by award-winning studio La Boca, the colourful cover illuminates the themes and musical structure of the album. The joyful melodies, invigorated by highflying vocals and off-beat rhythms, are in themselves a series of loops interlinked by one great loop. Bass player Ed Nash said, “It’s based on the idea of trying to change but eventually returning to the starting point. The man and woman appear to walk away from each other yet remain in the same place, while the sunset and sunrise give an added dimension of time. We wanted to visualise the underlying theme of repetition that runs through the album.”
This article was originally published in issue 19 of Oh Comely.