The Rise of the Visual Album

Over the past several years streaming sites such as Spotify have become increasingly popular generating a lot of different types of publicity for musicians and their music, meaning that the art of a simple video that would previously be shown on MTV or  YouTube are starting to look slightly outdated as the public are debatably more focused on streaming the music rather than watching a short clip alongside it. This in turn leaves the artists with a creative outlet where they can create a much longer visual film that works alongside their music yet is also filled with dialogue and artist/ emotional imagery to help us understand their work to a better extent. With the lack of emphasis on the previous short music clip, the artists and its creative team can worry less about fitting all that content into a 3 minute clip and instead make a more intricate piece of work that has more considered visuals and considered extended spacing between visuals.

Within 2017 alone we’ve seen the release of many visual albums and EPs such as Fergie’s release of ‘Double Dutchess’ on the 22nd of September, with each track on the album going hand in hand with a clean cut/edgy video generating a lot of interesting publicity around her new releases.  Another interesting release this year was from ‘All American Rejects’ with their EP on the 7th of July, with one combined extended film of the two tracks entitled ‘Sweat’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’. This extended film was successful in the way that it relates to many people in terms of finding their true identity through exploring different genders as well as coming to the harsh reality that some people only want to associate themselves with you to benefit themselves and not to form a true and valid friendship. The lead vocalist Tyson Ritter stated “to me ‘Sweat’ was a little deeper than what it sounded like and I wanted to make sure that we had a visual that exemplified that”. The realistic visuals and characters Ritter played within the film put a very personal touch to the extended film. The concept of the visual album is crucial as a marketing tool in the development of the musician as an artist and a valid extension of their meaningful lyricism to help the fan identity and relate to their icons in a more in-depth way.

Words: Sophia Day

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