The London-based post-punk band took home the award at the 2024 Grammy Awards ceremony last night (February 4), winning in the category for the unconventional artwork used for their 2022 album ‘Stumpwork’.
Created by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge, the cover art for their second album made the rounds on social media back in 2022, with it featuring an old bar of soap with the album title spelt out in pubic hair.
Last night, the artwork saw the band beat out fellow nominees The Arcs, Brad Breeck, Caroline Rose, Ensemble Cadenza 21′ and Leaf Yeh.
The award for Best Recording Package is one of a series of Grammy Awards presented for the visual look of an album. Unlike most of the awards, the trophy is presented to the art director of the winning album, not to the performer – unless the performer is also the art director.
When it was first launched in 1959, it was called the award for Best Album Cover and, a couple of years later, was divided into Classical and Non-Classical categories.
Between 1966 and 1968, it was then separated into Graphic Arts and Photography divisions, and in 1974, the name of the award was changed to Best Album Package. It received its current title in 1994.
Following the release of ‘Stumpwork’, Annie Collinge opened up about the inspiration behind the artwork in an interview with Creative Review.
“I had taken an iPhone picture of a blue soap with a curly hair on it, and Rottingdean Bazaar had done lots of things with pube lettering so suddenly it sparked an idea,” she said.
Similarly, speaking with Exclaim! back in 2022, guitarist Tom Dowse said, “We actually encouraged them to make it more pubic, because it makes it more intimate.”
“The formal elements — the composition, the way it balanced the colour, everything — are beautiful. And it looked quite vulnerable and quite human, the detritus of the human body, human hair. It kind of made it more personal.”
In a glowing five-star review of the album, NME wrote: “[‘Stumpwork’] is presented as a modernist stream of consciousness, jumping suddenly from one direction to another like an experimental novel. When coupled with the dextrousness and range of the rest of the band, it makes for a record that, when given the requisite time and attention, offers unfathomable depths to explore.”
Elsewhere at the 2024 Grammys, Joni Mitchell reflected on her surprise appearance at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival as she collected the 10th Grammy of her career. Boygenius confirmed their familial bond amid reports they’re about to go on hiatus, while Dua Lipa premiered her new single ‘Training Season’ at the event.
Meanwhile, Tracy Chapman joined Luke Combs on stage for their first joint performance of ‘Fast Car’ and SZA – the most-nominated artist at this year’s event – also performed her songs ‘Snooze’ and ‘Kill Bill’, bringing Tarantino energy to the Grammys stage. Miley Cyrus gave the first televised performance of her hit single ‘Flowers’, Olivia Rodrigo brought ‘Vampires’ to the Grammys stage, and Billie Eilish dressed as a vintage Barbie for her performance.
Taylor Swift announced a new album, ‘The Tortured Poet’s Department’, as she won Best Pop Vocal Album, and U2 took the audience inside their Las Vegas Sphere residency.
Killer Mike seemingly responded to André 3000’s comments about being too old to rap as he swept up three trophies at the premiere ceremony. The rapper was reportedly arrested shortly after his wins.
The Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr also drew mixed opinions for his speech about the October 7 attack at Supernova Festival, and Drake continued his long-running feud with the academy by saying it “doesn’t dictate shit”.