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Mitski / Dead Oceans

Be The Cowboy

Be the Cowboy is the fifth studio album by Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski and her greatest work to date. Pitchfork deemed the album "best new music" and Rolling Stone referes to Mitski a "visionary singer-songwriter".

I designed the album art including vinyl record packaging, movie-size poster, CD packaging, and a pair of 100% silk handkerchiefs, as well as a CD package and art for 3 digital singles.

Album photography by Bao Ngo. Additional credits below.

Inside the gatefold there is a question in a spot gloss: “just how many stars will I need to hang around me to finally call it heaven?” from the song “Remember My Name”. The type in clear spot gloss can can only be seen in the right light.

The album back cover features the track list and could be read as a cute public inside joke.

A glossy, movie-size poster amplifies the themes on the album and the photography by Bao Ngo—it's huge, though, and difficult to unfold alone. 27” x 40”.

Cover for the second single: “Nobody“

A little lyric line reaches across the divide on the front and back cover—many of the songs and narratives on this record suggest a dual consciousness as well as a loneliness/seeking, which are amplified with the design

The record protective sleeve and label on the record complete an image on both sides and are most often poetically misaligned.

Owners of this record will find the hidden lyrics printed inside the cardboard sleeve but it might make them a little uncomfortable to stretch the record pocket enough to read them.

A pair of 100% silk handkerchiefs have corresponding lyrics but are sold separately and numbered as an edition—perfect for dabbing tears or waving goodbye to a lover on the train.

Buy a copy here. Your local independent record store may have the coke-bottle green version as well as a bonus sticker pack.

Another version of this record design available from Vinyl Me Please.
Photography: Bao Ngo

Label: Dead Oceans / Secretly Group

Silk handkerchief directly inspired by Shiraz Abdullahi Gallab.

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