Forget everything you’ve read about Ariel Pink. His public persona has nothing to do with his music, which has never been more remarkable than it is on pom pom. “Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade” begins the album by approximating decades of children’s music, family VHS tapes and video game music into a multicolored parade of half-remembered sounds. On tracks like “White Freckles,” Pink taps into similar territory of outdated interstitial music and lyrics and sounds inspired by advertising, pouring his exaggerated lothario presence all over them and ending up with sticky-sweet concoctions that leave you feeling titillated and slightly nauseated. Nothing that could possibly be interesting gets thrown away in Pink’s world—“Lipstick” could be based on an adult contemporary jam you never learned the name of; “Nude Beat A Go-Go” is like a perved-up version of a Frankie & Annette movie theme song. This means there are a few tracks you’ll skip past, but it’s better to have the full Pink treatment, making pom pom feel more crucial than 2012’s somewhat cleaned-up Mature Themes. And the singles are killer. “Put Your Number in My Phone” is a new cheese classic in silk pajamas. “Black Ballerina,” like its precursor, Before Today’s “Round and Round,” is a sick roller rink jam, with a disjointed narrative flowing through. And “Picture Me Gone” takes Pink’s simmering Beach Boys influence into a gossamer synth ballad. So he’s kind of a creep. But pom pom is proof that for all his off-putting proclivities, Ariel Pink still makes some of the most fascinating and entertaining pop music around.
"I backed up all my pictures on my iCloud
So you can't see me when I die,
I left my body somewhere down in Mexico,
Give Find My iPhone app a try."
Ariel Pink "What's In My Bag?" (2012)
Ariel Pink has said some things lately that have made a lot of people mad. But whatever you think about him as a person, his music is pretty great. On “Black Ballerina,” the latest track released form the upcoming pom-pom (out Nov. 17), he’s in a typically raunchy mode, crafting bargain-bin synth-funk with bits of ephemeral dialogue about strip clubs interspersed.
Also, see what’s in Ariel Pink’s bag:
L.A. dreampop duo Tashaki Miyaki have a new Covers EP on the way, produced by Joel Jerome. Here, we find them lending their cloudgazing ways to a classic Prince track. Hear it via Stereogum. Look for them on the road with Allah-Las this fall; they’ll be at S.F.’s Brick & Mortar Dec. 10 and L.A.’s El Rey Dec. 11.
This track from L.A. producer RL Grime sounds like how you remember the best of late ’90s R&B in your head. With Grime’s bass-heavy, lingering production, “Reminder” does have a dreamy, lovelorn feel, but How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell, who’s pretty much the king of dreamy and lovelorn, is actually as lively and engaging as you’ve ever heard him before here. You’ll get a kick out of hearing him sing rapid-fire lines like Justin Timberlake. The track will be on RL Grime’s new album VOID, due Nov. 18 on WEDIDIT.
Wand – “Flying Golem” video
Wand’s video for their stomping psych-rocker “Flying Golem” (off the recently released Ganglion Reef) is an explosion of ’90s- style animation, from the pixilation of old video games to early CG-animation to the sleazy cartoons of MTV’s “Liquid Television” (kids, look it up if you don’t know it). Man, MTV was cool in the ’90s. What the fuck happened. This would’ve been right at home on “120 Minutes.”
Out Sept. 23
The Internet pretty much exploded when Richard D. James announced Syro, and with good reason. It’s the ambient/electronic artist’s first album in 13 years, and from the sound of the glorious “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]” (OMG vocals), it’ll have been worth the wait.
Out Sept. 23