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Neil Young Unveils Shepard Fairey Artwork for ‘Americana’

Neil Young
Vince Bucci, Getty Images

From his impressionistic lyrics to his ability to use his guitar effects to add color and nuance, there has always been a visual element to Neil Young‘s music. However, for his new album, ‘Americana,’ which is being released Tuesday (June 5), Young has brought in acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey to provide artwork for each of the album’s 11 songs.

“I’m just really excited I got to do this because I love Neil’s music and I love the way that music affects people viscerally and inspires them to look deeper into the meaning of the songs,” Fairey told Rolling Stone.

According to Young, the artwork reflected Fairey’s understanding of Young’s interpretation of the folk standards that make up ‘Americana,’ which didn’t always come immediately. “We talked about them,’ Young said. “If he didn’t have an idea or he was wondering, we talked and between the two of us we came up with concepts for them, Some of them he knew exactly what he wanted to do and they were great and I just kept saying yes.”

The two men have worked together frequently in recent years, including the packaging for the 25th anniversary of Young’s annual Bridge School benefit shows. Young and Fairey also collaborated on a 41-minute film inspired by the ‘Americana’ project.

Fairey’s artwork opened at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday (June 2), where they will reside through July 14. After that, they will become integrated into the stage set-up for the handful of dates Young will be performing in support of ‘Americana.’

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