It’s been a while, but now we have some new music worth throwing down monies for…
…and a great album we missed a little while back:
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - “Beverly Kills”
One of the coolest guys I know handed me a couple of Ariel Pink’s albums way back in January, suggesting I check it out. I’m not sure why it took me this long to actually do it, but I wish it hadn’t. I’m going to let the music speak for itself, but there’s an interesting backstory here.
The large majority of Ariel Pink’s releases previous to Before Today were recorded at home with a very basic set up — using things like his armpits to produce drum-like sounds in places — and as such lend a very lo-fi sound to it, including the ever-present hiss of cassette recordings. Most of his previous work was either self-released or, since 2004, released on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label.
Before Today is his first album with a band (the Haunted Graffiti part of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti), and his first on a major label (4AD). Impressively, all the benefits of a talented band and increased fidelity are immediately noticeable, but not at the expense of the lo-fi vibe in all his previous recordings. (This song is actually a re-recording of a previous track, so if you’re interested in comparing notes, you’ll find the original on Scared Famous.)
Apparently, Ariel Pink’s lo-fi leanings have also caused friction in live performances, disappointing fans that came to hear the “real” version, not realising what the real version actually sounded like. And so, since 2008, he also performs his live shows with Haunted Graffiti.
So it seems like Ariel Pink’s modest origins are pretty much gone now, but I can’t help being impressed by the fact that major label backing and a band haven’t hindered his ability to stay true to his original style.