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The moment I saw this cover, my first question was whether that hair was real. When close inspection indicated that it was real, my next question was: where did they find this guy? The answer is that these are not models –  they’re the group.

The gentleman you see before you, with his proud man-mane, is Jarrod Zlatic. He and band mate Nisa Venerosa are the Fabulous Diamonds, a Melbourne-based group that create soundscapes with reverbed vocal and dub and organ and saxaphone and lots of other noises. 7 Songs (they’re all untitled) was recorded over 2 days in a warehouse and represents the best stuff to come out of their acclaimed live gigs in 2007.

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They’ve developed a loyal and passionate following and have recently toured the States. While the music isn’t exactly my thing, I love this cover. On the weekend I was talking to a girl who’d just told an ex that he should get his back hair lasered off. She said that this was a selfless service for the future women in his life.

It made me reflect on man hair a little. During my teenage years I waited for some facial hair to appear and elevate me to a new level of mature sophistication. Instead I remained doggedly hairless as friends around me transformed into veritable chia pets. Even now in my twenties I can skip shaving for weeks and simply develop one of those patchy Asian-man beards that just look shifty on a white guy.

So I’ve been too immersed in my own hairless existence to really think about life on the opposite extreme; that of the man covered in thick curly fur. So far as I know, Venerosa and Zlatic are not a couple, however this cover speaks beautifully of those couples that won’t allow a man’s “sadness sweater” to come between them.

The lovely portrait was taken by Karl Scullin, of the much admired Kes Band.

In researching the plight of the hairy gentleman, I came across a hilarious and self-deprecating post by a young man name Jason, who argued that: “Hairy men take women that the mainstream would consider “unattractive” and make them wives and mothers.” He goes on to name “Harry Truman, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Barbara, Robin Williams and an abundance of other notable people” who have “all shared in this dirty secret.”

By coming out of the hairy closet, Zlatic has not only struck a blow for the unwaxed but also created the best Aussie album cover I’ve seen in ages.