Artist of the week: Ariel Pink
Until he was discovered by Animal Collective in 2003, Ariel Pink was an obscure American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer based in Los Angeles, California, highly influenced by the 80s cassette culture and the 90s low-fi movement. When the band started to re-issue on their Paw Tracks imprint some of the records he had self-released in recent years, such as 2004’s The Doldrums, 2005’s Worn Copy or 2006’s House Arrest, he immediately gained both critical acclaim and a cult following.
After emptying his vault of recordings with a series of limited-edition/low-profile releases, he formed a new band in 2006 that would become known as Haunted Graffiti and with which he would released his first two high-fidelity records on 4AD (2010’s woozy Before Today and 2012’s darker Mature Themes) which not only expanded considerably his fan base, but also generated high praises from fellow musicians and the press.
Though pom pom is his first full studio album released as Ariel Pink without his band, it is still a collaborative effort with several songs co-written by the legendary eccentric Kim Fowley. The result may be his most divisive record yet: a high-speed roller coaster ride that flashes through genres with a deep sense of musicianship, sarcasm and humor that brings to mind the criminally unexplored legacy of Frank Zappa.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.