Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new album cover is bonkers

by thewheatandthechaff

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a new album, Mosquito, coming out April 16, and it’s already getting lots of attention—in the most part for its pretty insane album cover. South Korean filmmaker and animator Beomsik Shimbe Shim did the design, and it’s certainly, erm, eye-catching—with the eponymous mosquito proving to be more than your average pest. The naked child under attack, meanwhile, seems to have been feeding from a jar of “YYYs.” Interpretations, anyone?

This is the skinny from the man himself:

“In surreal way, the mosquito’s blood sac is glowing through a blazing backlight and throws the bloody caustic effect on the naked boy,” says Shimbe. “Since Karen O wanted the mosquito as a female while the victim is a boy, I considered the mosquito as Karen herself–the female warrior like a rock star. The boy could be anything the Yeah Yeah Yeahs want.”

Shimbe says “many old ’70s and ’80s illustrations about children” were creative inspiration, as were scientific images, which somehow makes sense. “I used many science images of mosquitoes, including lots of microscopic photos, to design the mosquito and build the horror.”

Aiming to deliver an unusual but powerful image, Shimbe says he tweaked the feeling of old animations into 3-D images, but with a ghoulish twist “so it creates some surreal and nicely irritating mood”–a technique he used in his most recent short film The Wonder Hospital.

In the days since its release, fans’ reaction to the Mosquito cover has shifted from quizzical to queasy. Though, according to Shimbe, the image might become more vivid and in your face. “From the beginning the image was meant to be animated and I’ve been developing the concept into a music video. So I guess people will see the giant and hairy purple mosquito flying soon.”

So, erm, look out for that.

As seems to increasingly be the norm nowadays with album launches from notable acts, the band have also released a teaser trailer (no giant mosquitoes or babies under attack here, mercifully):

Like the previous record, Mosquito was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and Nick Launay. Most intriguingly, one of the tracks was produced by James Murphy and features– wait for it– Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith).