Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor wanted the cover for her forthcoming album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, her sixth, to have a look that “seemed fun and tangible, like you could feel like it’s been touched by people and drawn on.
“I didn’t want it to be a real font,” Spektor recently told Rolling Stone. “I wanted things to be handwritten. This record is not analog and we don’t live in an analog world, but it feels very analog to me. I tend to prefer a feeling of ‘human has been here’ to computer font, in the box.”
That element of playfulness carried over to her prop for the cover photo shoot. “I got that hat in Japan when I played there, andI had to stuff it with a t-shirt so it didn’t get smushed, but it still got a little smushed,” says Spektor. “I tried this hat on and it had this fun conductor-hat vibe, and the drummer I was playing with was like, ‘You have to get the hat. you have to get it.’ I got it and brought it home and was like, ‘Great, I’m never going to wear this hat.’
“For the photo shoot, I brought a bunch of little props to interact with because I realized that my experience with photo shoots is just like Tina Fey describes in Bossy Pants, except instead of dead-shark eyes and all clothes not fitting, I have my own ones, like ‘Crazy Eyes’ and ‘Stiff Face’ and my own terminology for the problem,” Spektor explains. “I tend to do better if I have an object to interact with.”
What We Saw from the Cheap Seats will be in stores on May 29th. You can listen to “All the Rowboats,” the first single from the album, below.
Additional reporting by Jenny Eliscu.