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American Pop-Punk Band Carousel Kings Team Up with Indian Designer Archan Nair

For the artwork to their latest album ‘Charm City’, Nair talks about turning “sonic vibrations into visuals”

Anurag Tagat Apr 08, 2017
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Carousel Kings. Photo: Dustin Smith/Courtesy of Victory Records

Carousel Kings. Photo: Dustin Smith/Courtesy of Victory Records

You better believe it: you can make a pop-punk album from meditating. Pennsylvania pop-punk band Carousel Kings’ vocalist David Alexander says their latest album ”“ Charm City, out on Victory Records ”“ was born out of Floatation Therapy, meditation and mindfulness techniques.

The vocalist explains, “It dawned on me at one point that perspective is really everything and that my life in reality could be exactly like I imagine it to be in my dreams–or maybe that it already is. I felt like I had to share it somehow through the creation of the album.” Their third full-length release on a record label, Alexander also goes on to say the album title took from the phrase of seeking success by thinking, “third time’s the charm.”

The band, who have been spreading the good vibes punk rock since 2009, found the right visual architect for Charm City when they reached out to New Delhi-based visual artist Archan Nair, whose work was already hung up at their local float spa. Nair, whose vibrant blend of psychedelic colors has found him work with brands around the world and even been a part of our Cover as Art Project in 2011, says he’s worked with musicians often. He adds, “Most of the time, the musician gives me a freehand and creative freedom to do anything I would like, which I love, as I love translating the sonic vibrations into visuals. Sometimes, they do give a small brief on some of the elements they would like and leave the rest to me.”

'Charm City' album artwork by Archan Nair

‘Charm City’ album artwork by Archan Nair

After initially being contacted by Alexander via Instagram, the band and Nair began brainstorming about concepts. And for Nair, it was another way to prove every piece of artwork is different from the previous and the next. The crystalline, somewhat flowery idea of a bright green thriving Charm City took about three weeks to complete. Nair adds, “We did a rough storyboard/visual to discuss the concept and then they got back to me with their feedback which I refined and worked on further. I was usually showing them the progress almost every alternate day so it could be a beautiful process for them as well.”

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Alexander adds about his first encounter talking to Nair: “We Skyped at the spa about the album, and about all kinds of other topics about meditation including the self, the mind, the universe. We really connected, not only on the art, but about meditation, philosophy, and life. Everything with Archan was completely surreal and meant to be and I’m forever grateful to have met him and been able to relate to him, and he to me. The world isn’t that big after all. Hoping we can make it over to India someday soon, for Carousel Kings to perform, and for the chance to chill with Archan.”

The band, who knocked off the prestigious Vans Warped Tour last year (braving “major vehicle issues” and never really finding the time to cool off in the heat), are currently touring to promote the whimsical, emotional and introspective rollercoaster that’s Charm City.

Watch the video for Carousel Kings’ lead single “Bad Habit” 

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpOhloXjY-A[/youtube]

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