On 25 August 2014 XL Recordings launch Pay Close Attention, a one-off compilation album that spans the London label’s 25-year history. Over the years XL have worked with everyone who’s anyone in the industry, starting with underground electronic acts like The Prodigy (at one point they weren’t famous) and Hip Hop artists like House Of Pain, as well as Adele, Radiohead, Dizzee Rascal, The XX, Ratatat, Vampire Weekend and MIA. See why we’re getting excited?
All of these artists appear on Pay Close Attention (apart from House of Pain) either on the first record, that charts the underground roots of the label, or the second, that deals with the worldwide success XL has achieved in recent years; all coming together in a beautiful vinyl box set.
To celebrate this forthcoming release they’ve also launched a bespoke website (designed by Animade) that brings together a series of immersive timelines, allowing you to explore video footage, music and interviews from the bands that made XL great. It’s packed full of incredible imagery from the XL archive and is well worth getting lost in for a couple of hours.
First and foremost though – as far as we’re concerned at least – XL have been responsible for the White Stripes since we were in our early teens, meaning they’ve given us untold hours of aural joy over the past decade or so. They also introduced us to the work of a pioneering director in the process.
We’d never heard Michel Gondry’s name when Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground was first released, but he’s gone on to become one of our favourite and most admired directors. So to explain his iconic work for this iconic band and label, here’s Michel Gondry to talk you through his videos for Fell In Love With A Girl, Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, and The Hardest Button To Button. It’s exclusive, so enjoy it!
- Cheeky, irreverent and vivid illustrations by Thomas Hedger
- Brilliant branding and a cracking It’s Nice That collaboration: introducing Unmade
- Director collective Canada creates raunchy, psychedelic video for Tame Impala (NSFW)
- Stylish designs that aim to make online gift-buying as fun as "walking around a concept store"
- Alex Sheridan’s hilarious shots of comedian David O’Doherty in sports memorabilia
- Cult magazine Nova and its nods to “eroticism and extortion” photographed in a suitably 70s setting
- Anthony Burrill tells us about his numerous Etsy WORK HARD rip-offs
- “I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as an illustrator to anyone”: straight-talking McBess
- Jonathan Barnbrook talks us through designing David Bowie's new album artwork
- Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke is back with his charmingly naughty gifs
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Making branding with a purpose: what can we learn from the Bauhaus?