Video: The warped retro-pop of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
When 4AD officially releases "Before Today" from Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti on Tuesday, it will be the Highland Park-based artist's ninth album. Or perhaps his 24th. But as far as Pink (real name: Ariel Rosenberg) is concerned, his myriad of independent and self-released cassettes, CD-Rs and vinyl offerings need not even be counted.
"Before Today," Pink says in Sunday's Los Angeles Times Calendar piece, is his "first album" -- at least the first record Pink has made "with any kind of thought or consciousness that I have an audience."
In the past, Pink largely worked on his own, but "Before Today" represents a shift, seeing him collaborate with a proper band and producer. Though he's been releasing limited-edition runs of old material, most everything Pink previously issued was recorded before 2004.
"I didn't want to make any new music until I got paid for it," Pink says in the Simon Reynolds piece. So, what, exactly, did Beggars Group's 4AD pay for? Take a look at the above clip of Pink and his Haunted Graffiti performing "L'estat (Acc. to the Widow's Maid)," a mini-low-fi suite of pop oddities and retro melodicism -- there's a guitar riff that echoes '70s prog at its most loungey, and a keyboard that references '80s romanticism. There's also some yelping.
Yet for all of Pink's Syd Barrett-like expansion of sounds, there's an invitingly delicate aura to "L'estat (Acc. to the Widow's Maid)," as well as much of "Before Today" (listen to the full album here). At times, it feels lovingly resurrected from another time. Moments later, it's all roughed-up and skewed with an almost childlike whimsy.
Ariel Pink and the Haunted Graffiti will perform at the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., on July 9. Tickets are $12.
-- Todd Martens
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