Telling a Beastly Tale

Sketches from the project Dovier and the band at work on the gif novel Dovier and the band at work on the gif novel

Brand partnerships are ubiquitous in the music industry these days. Whereas artists would once have turned their noses up at such deals, today, as long as the brand is right, few turn such offers down. The results of such projects are mixed but done well they can serve all participants well, with the brand coming out looking cool by association and the artists getting paid for a change.

One such good example is a recent project for Jameson Works, a new website created by the Irish whiskey brand that aims to promote craft. Jameson approached Wild Beasts and offered them an “entirely blank canvas”, according to bassist Tom Fleming, to create something for the site. The band suggested working with French artist and animator Mattis Dovier, who in turn came up with the notion of a ‘gif novel’ – a kind of graphic novel composed of gifs – set to two of Wild Beasts’ unreleased songs.

Fleming says the band were drawn to the look of Dovier’s work due to its referencing of manga and also early computer art, and loved the gif idea from the start. “We really liked his use of gifs as discrete little units,” he says. “It was like a lot of things we’ve been talking about with music, about albums making up a whole but equally each [track] being a separate little narrative.” As to working with brands, Fleming says, “it’s not something we’d ever really done before and it’s not something we’d usually be comfortable with, but Jameson gave us the opportunity to do something really good and take ownership of it”. The results look lovely.

View the full gif novel at

The gif novel is based on two unreleased tracks from the latest Wild Beasts album. According to Dovier, “the theme of the story is the confrontation of a human and a robot in environments that are foreign to them. They each experience psychedelic discoveries across organic and futuristic worlds. The idea was to show visually the feelings experienced when listening to the tracks”