In this age of declining physical record sales, US alternative rockers Anberlin are on a mission to save the craftsmanship of album artwork.
"Our album covers are absolutely important to us, it is very crucial that the visuals we present set the mood for the whole record," said frontman-vocalist Stephen Christian, 33, in a phone interview with LOUD from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
"These days, more and more people listen to music on their mobile phones. "As a result, album covers have become a dying and almost lost art form. We don't want that to happen."
Over the years, Anberlin - which also comprises bassist Deon Rexroat, lead guitarist Joseph Milligan, rhythm guitarist Christian McAlhaney, all in their early 30s, and 26-year-old drummer Nathan Young - have displayed a knack for coming up with stark yet powerful and highly imaginative images for their album covers.
On their last studio effort, Vital, released in October last year, a couple is seen embracing amid crashing waves.
"Vital is chock-full of uplifting, inspirational tunes. To a certain extent, that picture you see on the album cover dictated the tempo of our record," said Christian.
"Looking at it, you can almost remember the sensation of sea water on your skin." In contrast, Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place (2010), the band's fifth studio release, contained "dark undertones", he said.
"On the cover, the falling horse in black and white represents a weight of hopelessness."
Anberlin, whose hits include Feel Good Drag, Godspeed and Impossible, are returning to Singapore for triple-bill concert Shut Up & Listen! next week.
They will be joined by fellow US alternative rockers The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Australian pop punk quintet Tonight Alive.
Anberlin last played here in 2007 and 2009.
Expect them to play tracks off Vital, a record that is dear to Christian's heart.