We have a look back at the fascinating tales behind some of our favourite album covers. This month: Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.

How does one visually communicate an innovative, metamorphic, beautifully eccentric sound? That’s the conundrum in front of Robert Carmichael in early 2009, as he puts on his Art Director hat for Animal Collective’s album Merriweather Post Pavilion. A long-time mate of the experimental Maryland four-piece, Carmichael looks to the work of Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka, whose studies in visual illusions and perception had already won the scientist several international accolades.

Inspired by Kitaoka’s pieces Rollers and Irrigation, Carmichael comes up with a pattern of cascading leaves which appear to undulate gently. Merriweather Post Pavilion becomes one of the top-selling independent albums of 2009.