the brilliant artwork for ‘impossible truth’ , designed by my dear friend sam smith, took a lot of its initial inspiration from the underground Las Vegas home of Girard Henderson. Henderson’s house was built 25 feet underground as a sort of art deco fallout shelter, the lights were on dimmers to mimick day/dusk/night. When i first saw photos of the house I immediately thought that we needed to incorporate this imagery into the artwork. This record is built around twin themes of apocalyptic expectation and the weight of nostalgia, and what better way to meld that than with such a striking concept of a ‘home’ built in style, meant to withstand the end of the world. And of course, it had to be underneath Vegas, the city which along with Los Angeles most represents to me the extremes of American dreaming…..fantasy and greed built in the middle of the desert with little regard for the environs or sustainability.
Sam took Polidori’s photos and used them as a stepping off point for something truly unique with our cover. Since this album is in many ways a somber tribute to the bygone era of 70s singer songwriters, I also wanted to incorporate some sort of photo of myself for the cover, but in a way that was strange and sardonic. Sam cropped an off the cuff photo of me standing in a parking lot; the motorcycle in the background is one of those perfect accidents….Then he re-imagined the fallout house of Henderson and we wound up with something that is pretty unique i think. Hipgnosis would be proud of Sam I believe!