Okay, Who Makes the Sofa on the New Harry Styles Album?
The internet is hungry for details about Harry’s House, the forthcoming record by Harry Styles, the cover art of which pictures the English pop star deep in introspective thought in an upside-down room adorned with mystery furniture. The scene joins a lengthy list of interior design vignettes that have long graced album artworks.
Flamboyantly dressed “head-to-toe” in Molly Goddard clothing, Styles appears flummoxed by his upside-down surroundings on the cover of Harry’s House, his forthcoming album out May 20. They’re sparsely furnished with vintage Modernist pieces, including a Bauhausian orange loveseat on a tubular chrome base that recalls Milo Baughman. The entire scene, envisioned by set designers Patience Harding and Molly Hawkins, has the design industry abuzz with speculation about the furniture’s origins and, of course, what it means.
Curious to learn more, Curbed contacted Harry’s publicist to see if they’d share any information about the sofa’s provenance. Naturally, they didn’t disclose anything. (Commenters drew comparisons to vintage Steelcase loveseats and speculated the sofa originated as a Milo Baughman but was digitally altered to remove some imperfections.) AD, meanwhile, likened the side table to Marcel Breuer’s Laccio and identified a white Giandomenico Belotti 109 Spaghetti lounge chair.
Until the record comes out, on May 20, we may have to live with the mystery. But, because we are unapologetic design nerds, it also got us thinking: Where does Harry’s House stack up in the canon of furniture on album covers? Below, our indefinitive list of albums where furniture is front and center. (Warning: none of them feature the once-ubiquitous peacock chair.)
5. Down Colorful Hill by Red House Painters
Gracing the cover of the slowcore band’s 1992 opus is an image called “Bed” by Welsh photographer Simon Larbalestier, perhaps most well-known for shooting album art for the Pixies. We can’t think of a more appropriate setting for soaking in lead singer Mark Kozelek’s tortured meditations on love and loss.
4. Harry’s House by Harry Styles
We’ve said enough about this one, but we wouldn’t be shocked if it presaged a celebrity collaboration with a consumer furniture brand punning Harry’s last name.
3. Freetown Sound by Blood Orange
The award-winning photographer Deana Lawson captured a young Black couple mid-embrace inside her Brooklyn apartment, which was outfitted with a Michael Jackson poster and olive-hued bedspread sourced from a thrift shop. Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), drew inspiration from art and Lawson’s images while recording the album—a purposeful document that offers a broad view of Black culture—and Lawson quickly agreed to let him use the intimate snapshot, called “Binky & Tony.”
2. Boy by RAC
The Portuguese-American producer hired digital designer Andrés Reisinger to envision the universe for his 2020 record, whose indie-electronica tunes sound like they were recorded from the desolate office chair perched in the surreal hyper-pink setting. (To be fair, Most of Reisinger’s oasis-like environments look like album artwork in their own right.)
1. Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood
Natalie Mering may have seen the future when she dropped her fourth album, a chamber pop epic about simply doing your best in the shadow of doom, in 2019. To capture the fraught mood, she submerged a facsimile of her childhood bedroom—including magazine cutouts, a wicker desk, and Art Deco lamp—in a swimming pool. “The waters have risen over this bedroom, which is symbolic of a subconscious altar that all young people in Western culture create for themselves,” Mering says.