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Behind The Kitten Covers, a Brooklyn songwriter and label owner
The Kitten Covers creator knows a thing or two about vinyl records. Alfra Martini is a promising songwriter who also runs an indie music label.
The Kitten Covers is far more than a cute concept.
For Alfra Martini, the creator of the Tumblr account—covered here on Monday—the work is a personal tribute to the classic rock albums that influenced her own career. Martini is the cofounder of the Brooklyn-based indie-music label All Hands Electric, as well as a member of the band Virginia Plan.
Thanks to The Kitten Covers, she’s amassed an audience of thousands.
“The kitten covers are just an homage to all the great music and music iconography out there,” she told the Daily Dot in an email. “I had no idea how popular they’d become.”
Like Best Coast and to a lesser extent Kreayshawn, Martini is a huge lover of both music and cats. She has a calico cat, a rescue, and she collects vinyl records and vintage rock posters.
“Let me tell you, there’s nothing like real record jacket in your hands,” she said.
Martini said the idea came to her in a fever dream. Antsy from staying home sick in bed, she pictured David Bowie as a kitten. A self-taught graphic designer, she spent some time trying it out.
“I just thought I’d play around with some images and lo and behold: David Meowie!” she said. “When Zach came home he thought I’d gone delirious.”
Zach is Martini’s boyfriend, singer/songwriter Zachary Cale. He suggested she make her manipulations into a blog, where things took off.
“Last I checked I had close to 11,000 subscribers and the blog just went up on Halloween,” she told the Daily Dot in an email.
Martini has been overwhelmed by requests for specific kitten album tributes, most frequently for The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, and Iron Maiden, so we can expect to see those soon. She’s also planning tributes to Prince and Brian Eno.
But Martini’s free time is limited. When she’s not running her record label or making music, she works as a vintage poster restorer, a freelance graphic artist, and as concert photographer. Her goal is to post three kitten covers a week.
While the reception to her blog has been overwhelmingly positive, there have been a few sticklers.
“I’m just glad they are bringing joy to folks. Even I laugh at them sometimes. I mean come on… ‘David Meowie,’” she said. “Incidentally, I do know that David Bowie really has two blue eyes, but poetic license! Poetic license!”
Here’s a medley of Martini and Cale performing “Hello Oblivion” and “I Forged the Bullet,” the latter penned by Martini.
Lauren Rae Orsini is a web culture reporter who specializes in anime and the business of fandom. Her work has been published by Forbes and Business Insider.