Album Stream: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today

Categories: CD Preview
Listen to this album now. It''s fantastic. Just do it.
​As was mentioned not too long ago, next Tuesday is going to be a bullish day of new album releases. Leading the way is observer of all things Jewish Ariel Pink and his merry band, Haunted Graffiti and their album Before Today. The amazing effort -- labeled as the band's first album by Pink, who has previously released other material under his own name -- is an amalgamation of all things 80's pop, lo-fi indie and chillwave. It's a dutiful task to try and pin down exactly what the hell is being listened to throughout Before Today, but one thing is for sure -- it's unlike anything released this year. 

I could go on an on about this album, and the fine people at Pop & Hiss, the Los Angeles Times'  music blog, perhaps also recognized that Before Today is something intriguingly difficult to pin down, making the album available for stream.

The band's undeniable, rather bizarre charm comes from its figurehead, Pink, who has been a freak-folk fixture in the L.A. music scene since the mid-1990's. His lyrics, his oddball song structures -- for instance, "L'estat (Acc. To The Widow's Maid)," -- all come together in a ravishingly fresh sound that establishes the band's throne at the high court of all things freaky and funky. 

Lead single "Round and Round" is exactly what a goddamn lead single should be -- a fresh, innovative song that leaves the listener teeming at the bit to hear the rest of the album. It's a multilayered effort -- overflowing with 80's pop influences and a trickling-down, earnest lounge singer-esque break leading into a magnificently bold chorus. Oh, there's also a telephone ring in there, for good measure.

Before Today will definitely be at the top of many people's year-end lists -- and I'm not just saying that knowing that it will be on mine. Something as intriguing and as original as this album deserves every bit of recognition it gathers. If I've piqued your interest, then please go give the album a listen. At least give "Round and Round" a try.

"Album Premiere: 'Before Today' by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti" [Pop & Hiss via Los Angeles Times]

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