I can’t remember exactly when I got my first iPod and I stopped buying albums with their carefully curated liner notes, laying out the lyrics as though they were an exhibition of the artist’s finest work. I hadn’t thought about it until I came across Los Angeles-based magazine Lyrics as Poetry, and I was utterly charmed.
Taking seriously the notion that lyrics convey the emotions present in the music, it’s delightful to read them in such a paired-down form. Stretching across genres, and with lyrics ranging from the understated to the ever-so-slightly cringe, there were plenty of songs in there that I wasn’t familiar with, and which I could just read, as poetry. Issue two is themed ‘time’ – whether its looking back, forward, or simply being in the present – and I can’t imagine a magazine like this working without a theme to bring all these ideas and emotions together.
I liked the paired down layout that accompanied each song’s page – giving space to the words, as art – but each one with a little memory from the lyricist – this was a nice touch and showed that the editors of the magazine had been in touch with the writers to get their comment.
Scattered through are memories of songs and their lyrics from famous writers. Each one is a little vignette into a particular memory or moment, and the powerful ways that music and songs can influence the way we remember things. Each of these is accompanied by illustration from designer Justin Page. They’re not literal interpretations of the songs – but work to compliment the writing or the genre and make the magazine more visual without being overbearing.
The magazine’s cover evokes classic book designs with its playfully elegant typography, gently extending out of the frame – as though it were a melody that accompanies you even after the song has stopped playing.
Editor & publisher: Sara Noelle
Editor: Erik Hayden
Design & Art: Justin Page
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