I’ll never stop loving the beauty of a physical album. Everything gives meaning from the scent of a new vinyl, to the magic of reading the lyrics and seeing the images inside the insert, to the touch of the glossy, matte or recycled paper, and the most important factor — the cover art of the actual overall masterpiece.

Here are 30 of the best album covers of 2013. It’s easy to see in all of these artists, that there was an actual thought to the structure of not only their music but how it visually sounds. Enjoy!



Artist: Sigur Ros

Album: Kveikur

Release date: June 12, 2013

Photography: Lygia Clark

Art Designer: Sarah Hopper

Label: XL



Artist: Deafheaven

Album: Sunbather

Release date: June 11, 2013

Art Designer: Nick Steinhardt from Touché Amoré

Label: Death Wish Inc



Artist: The Horrors

Album: Higher

Release date: March, 2013

Art Designer: Leif Podhajsky

Label: XL




Artist: Fort Romeau

Album: Stay / True

Release date: September 16, 2013

Art Designer: Michael Cina

Label: Ghostly




Artist: Local Natives

Album: Hummingbird

Release date:  January 28, 2013

Art Designer: Local Natives

Label: French Kiss



Artist: Baths

Album: Obsidian

Release date: May 28, 2013

Art Designer: Alex Takacs

Label: Anticon



Artist: How To Destroy Angels

Album: Welcome Oblivion

Release date: March 5, 2013

Art Designer: Rob Sheridan

Label: Columbia



Artist: Atoms for Peace

Album: Amok

Release date: February 25, 2013

Art Designer: Stanley Donwood

Label: XL



Artist: Rhye

Album: Woman

Release date: March 1, 2013

Art Designer: Stuart Hardie

Label: Republic



Artist: The National

Album: Trouble Will Find Me

Release date: May 17, 2013

Art Designer: Bohyun Yoon

Label: 4AD



Artist: A$AP Rocky

Album: LongLiveA$AP

Release date:  January 15, 2013

Art Designer: DONDA

Label: ASAP Worldwide



Artist:  Mount Kimbie

Album:  Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

Release date:  May 27, 2013

Art Designer:  Leif Podhajsky

Label: Warp



Artist:  Bibio 

Album:  Silver Wilkinson

Release date:  May 14, 2013

Art Designer:  Stephen Wilkinson

Label: Warp



Artist: Beady Eye

Album: Be

Release date:  June 10, 2013

Photographer: Harry Peccinotti

Label: Columbia



Artist: Oneohtrix Point Never

Album: R Plus Seven

Release date: September 21, 2013

Art Designer: Georges Shwizgebel/Robert Beatty

Label: Warp




Artist: White Lies

Album: Big TV

Release date:  August 12, 2013

Art Designer: Michael Kagan

Label: Harvest



Artist: Woodkid

Album: The Golden Age

Release date:  March 18, 2013

Photographer: Daniel Sannwald

Art Designer: Pierre Le Ny

Label: Green United Music



Artist: Forest Swords

Album: Engravings

Release date: August 26, 2013

Art Designer: Matt Barnes

Label: Tri Angle



Artist: Portugal. The Man

Album: Evil Friends

Release date:  June 4, 2013

Art Designer: The Fantastic The

Label: Atlantic



Artist: Jon Hopkins

Album: Immunity

Release date:  June 3, 2013

Art Designer: Linden Gledhill/Craig Ward

Label: Domino



Artist: Laurel Halo

Album: Chance of Rain

Release date:  October 28, 2013

Art Designer: Arthur Chartow

Label: Hyperdub



Artist: Bone Squad

Album: Skal & Bones

Release date:  May 27, 2013

Art Designer: Bone Squad

Label: Total Fantasy



Artist: Machinedrum

Album: Vapor City

Release date:  September 29, 2013

Art Designer: Dominic Flannigan and Eclair Fifi

Label: Ninja Tune



Artist: Gold Panda

Album: Trust

Release date:  January 22, 2013

Art Designer: Andy Gilmore/Michael Cina

Label: Ghostly



Artist: Goldfrapp

Album: Tales of Us

Release date:  September 6, 2013

Art Designer: Mat Maitland

Photography: Annemarieke Van Drimmelen
Label: Mute


Washed out Paracosm Album Art

Artist: Washed Out

Album: Paracosm

Release date:  August 7, 2013

Art Designer: Sara Cynwar

Label: SubPop



Artist:  Zomby

Album:  With Love

Release date:  June 17, 2013

Art Designer:  Philip Laslett

Photography: Dany Evans
Label: 4AD



Artist:  Braids

Album:  Flourish Perish

Release date:  August 20, 2013

Art Designer:  Marc Rimmer

Photography: Landon Speers

Label: Arbutus



Artist:  Bonobo

Album:  The North Borders

Release date:  March 21, 2013

Art Designer:  Leif Podhajsky

Label: Ninja Tune



Artist:  Boards of Canada

Album:  Tomorrow’s Harvest

Release date:  June 5, 2013

Art Designer:  Marcus Eoin

Label: Warp


About The Author

“One glimpse is all it takes to tell you that Music Is Art is something special. You can start by judging this blog by its cover—it’s one of the best-designed, most aesthetically aware music blogs around—but there’s much more to it than just a pretty template. For one, Danielle, the “dreamer/designer” behind MIA, focuses not only on excellent music, but on art, photography and writing and how they all intersect and inform the music. By sharing the sounds and sights that inspire her, she’s inspiring a growing number of readers on a daily basis. By documenting artists’ creative processes, she’s, in the process, creating a pretty substantial, always-evolving work of art herself.” - Nerd Litter

3 Responses

  1. oliviermoore

    Awesome post.

    You simultaneously delighted my eyes,
    introduced me to artists I was not familiar with, thanx…

    Very nice space on “the web”…

    Oli Moore

  2. Sam

    Very nice post, Also nice to see that some of my favorites are in this list aswel :)