Sleeves: Hooton Tennis Club

The resurgent re-arrival of vinyl upon our shelves is pleasing beyond the magic plastic disc. It means we can make that extra connection with the bands we have placed our faith in and investigate their minds. We may no longer be within a time where artwork dictates our purchases, but the art that accompanies our favourite records will live with us forever. We think album sleeves are something to celebrate, as do Hooton Tennis Club. Since releasing their debut ‘Highest Point in Clifftown’, they’ve made their entrance and its time for their main event. The mersey story tellers have announced their second record ‘Big Box Of Chocolates’ and its accompanied by another statement sleeve. We invite the Liverpool lads to talk us through the artwork of their next offering (Out October 21st on Heavenly Recordings) as well as run us through some of their favourite ever album sleeves. Over to them…

HTC album cover

Hooton Tennis Club – Big Box Of Chocolates

“There was a concious effort to create a cover that somehow related to the songs and stories on the record. I wanted to make something that was evocative of a particular mood or scene in a song. For example, Ryan peacefully mediating in the Himalayas on the ‘Sit Like Ravi’ cartoon or the emotionally unhinged character in ‘O Man, Won’t You Melt Me?’ with his head tilted back anoxioulsy despairing to the sky. The songs just seemed to spark somekind of visual representation in my imagination so I went with that.

Alot of the inspiration for the artwork came from looking at 60s Japanese Manga comic strips aswell as cartoonists like Robert Crumb and Raymond Pettibon. It blew my mind how these artists could weave characters and stories into these drawn worlds and create these really iconic images.” James

The Beatles – Abbey Road

“The secret to this cover is simplicity, but there is also a hidden message. The black and white stripes represent the contrasts between the songs, yin and yang, good and evil, push and pull. Beauty is balance.” Ryan

Abbey Road cover

Torch of the Mystics – Suns City Girls

“A classic. The cover is brilliant, just look at it staring back at you … My mind is numb.” Ryan


Silver Jews – American Water

“The beauty in this cover is that its exactly the opposite style to a cover you’d expect from Silver Jews. Neat, tidy and ordered, certainly not a reflection on the tracks.” Callum


The Raincoats – The Raincoats

“I’m just going to let the cover be. Just look at it. Think about it. You don’t need me to tell you anything. Form your own opinion.” Callum


Jonathan Richman – Jonathan Goes Country

“Should Jonathan Richman do a country album? What are the pros? What are the cons? Do these boots look good? What are the pros? What are the cons? I love this album cover so much! It suits J Rich’s music so perfectly; it’s the kind of idea that other people may come up with, laugh about the idea of it, and then disregard for something a bit more safe and sensible (a lovely picture of the artist looking beautiful in a field, or perhaps some triangles?). The back cover shows Jonathan walking away from the shop whilst wearing his brand new red cowboy boots. He made the right choice, the boots are great and so is the album -Ye-haw!” Harry


Spinal Tap – Smell The Glove

“How much more black could this be? The answer is none, none more black.” Harry


Michael Hurley – Long Journey

“As well as making great, great songs, Hurley is also a cartoonist and a painter. He’s been making these comic-esque, vibrantly coloured, line-drawn covers since the 70s. I really love how the characters in his songs intertwine with the covers he makes, creating a visually, ear-pleasing world of Snockman for us to peer into. I have his Armchair Boogie record cover framed above my bed.” James

Michael Hurley

Brian Eno – Another Green World

“Understanding the album and Eno’s creativity suddenly clicked whilst on a recent internet binge admiring this man. Like the methods for making his music by oblique strategies, sampling and looping, Eno has taken a pre-exisitng idea, friend Tom Philips’ painting ‘After Raphael’, and formed his own creation (check the crop out, it’s glorious). Minus all this blabber, it’s a minimal, striking and otherworldly scene – much suited to feel of the music. Good job Bri.” James


 ‘Big Box Of Chocolates’ is out October 21st via Heavenly Recordings. Watch the trailer below.