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Album: Before Today

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Ariel Pink is no stranger to the world of music. Having churned out albums for the greater part of the last decade while inadvertently creating what critics are now calling “chillwave” and simultaneously acquiring a fervid cult stature, Pink has an impressive resume, to say the least. He is, however, a stranger to the mainstream limelight. Or well, he was. That is all changing with the release of his most recent gem, Before Today.

Regardless of his lauded and extensive catalogue, Before Today signals the first time Pink used a professional studio and employed the help of an entire band to put out his music via indie heavyweight 4AD. Not surprisingly, the material is leagues away from the lonesome records of yore that oozed with homemade-ness and obvious lack of external input. What one hears is the departure from a solo enterprise into an cohesive entity. Less Ariel Pink and more Haunted Graffiti, Before Today is the work of a band set on dominating the pop waves of interstellar galaxies.

Such a transition would be perhaps more jarring if familiarity had been tossed out. Luckily, many of the songs on the album have appeared before – “Beverly Kills,” “Can’t Hear My Eyes,” “Reminiscences,” and “Revolution’s A Lie” (formerly “Evolution’s A Lie”) all received facelifts and standout “Bright Lit Blue Skies” is a cover of the same song by Rockin’ Ramrods. All beautiful, eccentric and unique in their own ways, the songs form the soundtrack for where music has been, is, and will go. Timelessness has always been Pink’s strength and that quality is only made stronger with the aid of his Haunted Graffiti crew.

Highly recommended by all accounts. Comfortingly familiar and excitingly different.

MP3: Bright Lit Blue Skies

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