Under the Radar: Ariel Pink

by Michelle Trajtman, Opinions Editor

I bet you haven’t heard of this guy.

Ariel Pink is a Los Angeles-based one-man band who completely breaks through musical barriers. Albums full of sound experiments, hypnotic tunes, and home-recorded styled songs are what set him apart from typical artists.

Ariel Rosenberg, also known as Ariel Pink, is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who was greatly influenced by 1970s-1980s pop radio and cassette culture. His lo-fi aesthetic and home-recorded albums proved influential to many Indie artists in the late 2000s. Ariel Pink is often cited as “the godfather” of the hypnagogic pop and chillwave movements. He began experimenting with music as a teenager, his influences being artists such as Michael Jackson, the Cure, and R. Stevie Moore.

Ariel Pink’s album “Pom Pom” was released in 2014 and is exactly what everyone wanted to hear from him. Seventeen songs full of unique beats and a broad array of meanings depict his evolving style. Ariel Pink really shows the influence he got from 60s styled tunes. The instrumentals are what make Ariel’s songs so eccentric.

“Pom Pom” was his first album that really broke through the dome of ideas he had been building up in his past albums. With songs like “Lipstick” containing an electric sound with magical effects. “Put Your Number In My Phone” is another song from the album that has this raspy old-recording sound to it that makes it such an enjoyable sound. An occurring noise from this album is the old fashioned and catchy melodies that make you want to listen more.

Years after “Pom Pom” was released, a new album came out, “Dedicated To Bobby Jameson. It was very noticeable that his style didn’t change much, but in my opinion, that’s a good thing. He found the style he had been looking for in “Pom Pom”, which matched him so well and kept bringing people back. This album was almost for himself, to show the changes and transitions he’d gone through regarding his musical style. This album seems a lot more intimate, with slower and cozier songs. This album is strange, no doubt, with a creepy sound from “Santa’s in the Closet” to a more relaxed tone in “Feels Like Heaven.” With such quirky experimental sounds, one does not expect to be hit with strong lyrics, but Ariel delivers. Just as much as he jokes in his songs, he gives this album a prevailing mood of loss and mixing into modern society.

Ariel Pink is an artist that will make you feel like you’ve discovered something, although his music is not for everyone. His vibrant and bipolar musical shifts make him different and an individual in the music industry. You should definitely give him a listen.

Favorite Songs: Another Weekend, Girl in a Tree, Mature Theme, Feels Like Heaven