For the 1975’s latest album, photographer David Drake teamed up with art director Samuel Burgess-Johnson to create a series of neon lit signs pictured in landscapes across the UK and America. The shots depict each title from every track on the album, entitled I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. The result appears like a series of thoughts floating around their lonely surroundings, illuminating the scene in an electrifying and somehow beautifully romantic way. The locations were chosen by the band themselves and have a direct relation to their titles, as David explained to the Creative Review:
‘The band really thought [the locations] through, spent a lot of time thinking about it and developing ideas as to what they wanted. Some of the locations were very specific/personal to them, some were much more conceptual and loose. Those conceptual ones gave us the flexibility to scout locations and work out more abstracted/visual connections to their ideas. So its a mix really. They all mean something and really connect to the songs and ideas. I’ve worked with a lot of recording artists and it’s a rare thing to work with a band and a label so focused on the visuals and how it connects with their music’.
Ranging from cityscapes and sunset beaches to the everyday views of Sainsbury’s on street corners and hospital waiting rooms, the pink haze of the signs add a dramatic and artistic aspect to any scene. The initial idea stemmed from The 1975’s debut LP artwork, which Drake and Johnson also collaborated on together, where Drake would shoot the pictures and Sam would lay out a logo over the top afterwards. Taking this idea to the next level, Drake decided he wanted the signs within the actual shot itself to capture its real life effects on the location. The signs were then designed in keeping with the minimal style of previous covers, and also to ensure that the structure impose as little as possible on the backdrops.
Having real signs however created some logistical problems for the shoot, such as working out how to power them in places that had no power sources. ‘The weather and distances between the locations caused all sorts of logistical nightmares too,‘ commented Drake, ‘the hardest one to shoot for me as the photographer was LOSTMYHEAD, which was on a rooftop in a thunderstorm. I would think that the hardest one for Sam was the shot with all the signs in it, that was really stressful (all that fragile neon) and required loads of logistical coordination‘. The complications certainly paid off for the series however, which clearly benefit for having real signs in the photographs. A stunning outcome of vibrant colour, find a further selection of the series below, and if you want to see more of David Drake’s work, find it on his site here.
All Images © David Drake