One of the most fascinatingly unique artists of the indie and experimental pop genre, Ariel Pink creates music that deserves to be heard, even if it is not always understood. Pink's music is unlike anything out of the mainstream world of pop, which is what makes the artist so intriguing to listen to. By incorporating retro sounding and at times psychedelic influences, mixed with dark lyrical themes, Pink has created a recipe for success on his latest album release Pom Pom (2014).
Ariel Rosenberg otherwise known as Ariel Pink, is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist renowned for his huge impact on the DIY culture in music. Pink discovered music at an early age and began writing and recording his own songs. In his early recordings, he developed a “lo-fi” sound known as “chillwave,” that has influenced artists since the 2000s. Chillwave has been described as down-tempo pop that uses heavy effects of sampling, synthesizers, or looping.
The influences he draws from contribute to the intrigue of Pink's music. His favorites range from The Cure and Michael Jackson, to Throbbing Gristle and death metal [faulty parallelism]. He credits his wide range in musical taste and his extensive memory for pop music to having worked at a record store. From the early 90s, both factors have impacted his musical catalog. Pink used to record over hundreds of songs on cassette tapes in different styles, developing new reconstructions of each song to try and see what fit best. Unfortunately, many of these songs remain unreleased to the public.
Pink established a group known as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti that was comprised of Kenny Gilmore (backing vocals, keyboardist, guitarist), Jimi Hey (backing vocals, drummer, guitarist), Cole M.G.N (guitarist), and Tim Koh’ (bassist). Despite Pink creating music since the early 2000s, it was when he formed with the Haunted Graffiti that Pink and the group began gaining the exposure that eventually scored them a record deal with 4AD Records in 2009. The band released the album Before Today in 2010; it received an abundance of good reviews from critics who praised the album for being studio quality and stylistically improved from Pink's earlier material. The hit single off of Before Today, titled “Round and Round,” was dubbed number one on Pitchfork's “Top 100 Tracks of 2010.”
Pink’s latest material, Pom Pom, was released in November 2014, and became his first studio release without the band name Haunted Graffiti. Pink maintains a strong pop sensibility on the tracks in Pom Pom without losing the eccentricity that many fans crave. In fact, Pink fans have created a cult following for the musician, appreciating his mix of genres and ingenious lyricism. Ariel Pink is able to keep his audience engaged on his new album by changing genres between songs and giving the tracks more accessibility to reach the ears of more listeners. Although, what separates Pink as an artist from most of the mainstream pop artists of today is that he provides songs that offer more in-depth messages; his music undoubtedly goes way beyond supplying background jams at your local party.