Ariel Pink

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Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink --- Bluebird Theater --- 10.24.17 (37880605676) (cropped).jpg
Ariel Pink performing in 2017
Background information
Birth name Ariel Marcus Rosenberg
Born (1978-06-24) June 24, 1978 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Musician
  • producer
  • singer-songwriter
  • Vocals
  • various instruments
Years active 1996–present
Associated acts

Ariel Marcus Rosenberg (born June 24, 1978), also known by the moniker Ariel Pink, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His music is characterized by a lo-fi sound that draws heavily on the influence of 1970s–1980s pop radio and cassette culture.[1][12] He is credited with pioneering the mid-2000s hypnagogic pop style and inspiring chillwave.[12][13]

Rosenberg was born and raised in Los Angeles and began writing songs at "around 10". He first gained recognition after signing to Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label in 2003, where several of his limited-edition home recordings were first given a wide distribution.[12] He found wider exposure following the release of Before Today (2010), which was featured on numerous "best of 2010" lists.[14] Until 2014, his albums were usually credited to "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti", a solo project sometimes conflated with his touring band.[15][16]

Early life[edit]

Ariel Marcus Rosenberg was born on June 24, 1978,[17] the son of Mario Z. Rosenberg and Linda Rosenberg-Kennett.[18] His father, a gastroenterologist, was born in Mexico City and his family is Jewish.[18][19][20] His parents divorced when he was two years old.[21] Rosenberg was raised in the Beverlywood[22] area of Los Angeles. In his youth, he attended Beverly Hills High School and later entered the California Institute of the Arts studying visual art. After dropping out, he joined a Hindu ashram before focusing on music, wanting to "hide my personality, I could sing in different voices, use cover pictures that looked nothing like me".[21]

Working at a record store, Rosenberg developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the pop canon, listening and absorbing everything from Michael Jackson and '80s radio pop to more obscure, experimental music, such as R. Stevie Moore, Throbbing Gristle, Can and death metal. He has cited The Cure – particularly their early albums – as his favorite band of all time.[23] He started writing songs at "around age 10"[22] and has since recorded over 500 songs in various shapes and forms on hundreds of cassette tapes, the majority of which have never been released.[24]



In the summer of 2003, Rosenberg passed a CD-R on to Baltimore, Maryland-based band Animal Collective[23][25] after being introduced by a mutual friend at one of their shows. Unbeknownst to Rosenberg, Animal Collective had recently started their own record label, Paw Tracks. Recalling the time, the band says in the CD-booklet that it "sat on the floor of the van for a week or so [...]. One day, we noticed it and randomly threw it on and were immediately blown away. It was just like 'Woah, what is this!? We knew it could have only been made by this individual, and so made it our goal to officially release his records on our new label." Several weeks later they contacted him to sign him on Paw Tracks,[26] making Rosenberg the first non-Animal Collective musician on the label.[27] The next year, the label reissued The Doldrums (2000), an album which had been originally self-released. In 2005 and 2006, Paw Tracks reissued two more of Rosenberg's previous recordings, Worn Copy (2003) and House Arrest (2002), respectively.[citation needed]

Having been primarily a recording artist up until this point, Rosenberg's early solo tours and performances were generally met with much negativity, because "it was music that was never intended to be performed live for commercial audiences."[this quote needs a citation] However, after initially spending years playing shows with pre-recorded music, karaoke style, Rosenberg slowly attracted what would become his full-time band, composed of renowned musicians who have since helped bring his recordings to life.[28][not in citation given] The backing band consisted of keyboardist/guitarist/backing vocalist Kenny Gilmore, drummer/vocalist/guitarist Jimi Hey, guitarist Cole M.G.N., and bassist Tim Koh.[29] Some shows were erroneously billed as "Ariel Pink" fronting a band called the "Haunted Graffiti", which Rosenberg says led to a "common misconception ... Haunted Graffiti, that was my project, not like a persona. My name's Ariel Rosenberg and I have a solo project that I called Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. ... automatically people assumed that [the band] must be the ‘Haunted Graffiti’."[15][nb 1]


Ariel Pink circa 2010

In November 2009, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti was signed to 4AD records.[31] He released a new mp3 single "Round and Round" in March 2010, marking a studio quality departure from his former lo-fi recordings.[32] 4AD released it as a 7" single, backed with "Mistaken Wedding".[33] A new album, Before Today, followed on June 8, 2010.[34] Before Today was recognized by Pitchfork in their "Best New Music" category. The album includes some new versions of songs released on previous records, notably "L'Estat (acc. to the widow's maid)", "Round and Round" (formerly titled "Frontman/Hold On (I'm Calling)") and "Beverly Kills".[35] In December 2010, Pitchfork named "Round and Round" the number 1 song on their list of The Top 100 Tracks of 2010.[36]

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti were chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that they curated in May 2011.[37] In 2011, JesusWarhol Records released a four-song EP featuring Ariel Pink called the Similarly Different EP.[38] The EP was a collaboration between Rosenberg and another Los Angeles artist called coL. Together, the act was called Atheif.[39]

On August 20, 2012, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti released a new album, Mature Themes.[40]

On November 17, 2014, Rosenberg released pom pom, which was the first album to drop "Haunted Graffiti" from its credit. The album includes several songs written by Kim Fowley, who wrote them from his hospital bed for Ariel to perform.[41] Earlier that October, Rosenberg reported to the online journal Faster Louder that Interscope Records contacted him about working with Madonna, and that they needed "something edgy. ... She can’t just have her Avicii, her producers or whatever, come up with a new techno jam for her to gyrate to and pretend that she’s 20 years old."[42] The article embroiled him into a minor controversy, with Grimes calling his comments "delusional misogyny".[21][43] He responded: "I was only repeating what Interscope told me about why they needed me. They’re not my opinions. It’s clickbait journalism. ... I’m not a misogynist."[21]

On September 15, 2017, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson marked Rosenberg's debut on the Brooklyn based label Mexican Summer. The album was released to generally favorable reviews.[44] In promotional interviews for the album, Rosenberg intimated that his desire for attention and willingness to release albums has declined, and instead talked mostly about the musician Bobby Jameson.[45]

Style and impact[edit]

Rosenberg's early recordings, often conspicuously DIY, foregrounded a distinctive lo-fi sound[46] that has since gone on to inspire various artists and styles; he has been described as the "godfather of chillwave."[13] His approach subverts the common privileging of songwriting over production, making the recording medium and sound texture a large part of the artwork itself.[47][48] After receiving attention in early discussions of hauntology in music,[13] the "hypnagogic pop" label was coined to describe him and similar sounding acts from the late 2000s.[49] Pink produces and plays almost all of his own music, and, in his early days, was noted for creating drum sounds and effects using his mouth.[50][26] Despite having a low profile in the mid-to-late nineties, his self-recorded music was considered to be influential on the development of the DIY culture in music.[51]


Studio albums


  • Odditties Sodomies Vol. 1 (2008) (as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti)



  1. ^ The liner notes for Before Today explicitly refer to "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti" as a band.[30]


  1. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | Biography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ "ariel pink exposes his softer side" | i-D
  3. ^ "The Acid Pop Genius of Ariel Pink". February 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ "REVIEW: ARIEL PINK, POM POM". Pretty Much Amazing. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ariel Pink Says He's Writing Songs for Madonna". 
  6. ^ "Want to Play a Tour Date? Hit Send". The New York Times. February 26, 2006. 
  7. ^ "September Wasn't All Doom And Gloom – 10 Great Releases You Might Have Missed – NME". September 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kevin O'Donnell (2011-01-20). "Watch Ariel Pink Rock 'Late Night' in Drag". SPIN. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  9. ^ Sean Michaels. "Ariel Pink says Madonna enlisted him for new album to help 'downward slide'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  10. ^ Mark Richardson (2010-06-07). "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  11. ^ "vdo_presskit_en.pdf" (PFD). Dropbox. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c [1]
  13. ^ a b c Gabriele, Timothy (June 8, 2010). "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Before Today". PopMatters. 
  14. ^ Houle, Zachary (August 16, 2012). "Mature Themes". PopMatters. 
  15. ^ a b "Ariel Pink 'Nixon is the best president we ever had.'". 52 Insights. September 7, 2017. 
  16. ^ Weiss, Alexandra (August 25, 2017). "Ariel Pink Hasn't Lost His Marbles Yet". Bullett Media. 
  17. ^ Harkin, Michael (May 5, 2010). "LA Story: Ariel Pink and Warpaint Contemplate Fake Michael Jacksons, First Crushes, and 10 Days of Silence. | XLR8R". XLR8R. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Beta, Andy (September 13, 2012). "Cover Story: Ariel Pink | Features | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ Carew, Anthony. "Ariel Pink Interview – An Interview with Ariel Rosenberg of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (Part 2)". Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ Turner, Gustavo (May 20, 2010). "Pitchfork Deliberately Quotes Ariel Pink Out of Context to Make Him Seem Anti-Semitic | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly". LA Weekly. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b c d Samadder, Rhik (November 15, 2014). "Ariel Pink: 'I'm not that guy everyone hates'". The Guardian. 
  22. ^ a b Simonini, Ross (January 13, 2006). "Interview with Ariel Pink – Identity Theory". Identity Theory. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b Griffey, Mark (March 14, 2005). "Junkmedia: Ariel Pink | An Interview with Ariel Pink". Junkmedia. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  24. ^ Hoinski, Michael (2005-04-14). "The Weirdo". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  25. ^ "Uncut Magazine – Ariel Pink". Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Tiny Mix Tapes News: Ariel Pink Tours With or Without Farty Armpit Sounds?". Tiny Mix Tapes. July 14, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Ariel Pink". Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "DISCORDER Ariel Pink February 2006". 2008-05-25. Archived from the original on 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  29. ^ [2][dead link]
  30. ^ Before Today (CD Liner). Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. 4AD. 2010. 
  31. ^ "4AD signs Ariel Pink". Music Week. November 26, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  32. ^ "New Ariel Pink: "Round and Round" | News". Pitchfork. March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  33. ^ [3] Archived July 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ [4] Archived April 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. June 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  36. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 100 Tracks of 2010 | Features". Pitchfork. December 13, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  37. ^ "ATP: All Tomorrow's Parties". Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Atheif – Similarly Different". Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  39. ^ "Atheif – Similarly Different (File, MP3)". 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  40. ^ "Review – Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes". August 21, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  41. ^ "pom pom is Ariel Pink's third studio album for 4AD, following his Haunted Graffiti releases Before Today (2010) and Mature Themes (2012)". 4AD. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  42. ^ Smith, Sarah (October 14, 2014). "Ariel Pink is working on Madonna's new album: "They need something edgy"". Faster Louder. 
  43. ^ Kim, Kristen Yoonsoo (October 14, 2014). "Ariel Pink: Indie Rock's Most Hated Man Right Now". Myspace. 
  44. ^ "Dedicated to Bobby Jameson – Ariel Pink". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  45. ^ Bowe, Miles (September 16, 2017). "Ariel Pink is beguiled by another outsider figure on the sobering Dedicated To Bobby Jameson". Fact Mag. 
  46. ^ "Worn Copy – Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffit". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  47. ^ Secret, Ben (June 29, 2007). "Noise-Pop Recording Artist Ariel Pink | Dazed Digital Incoming from UK Magazine Dazed & Confused". Dazed Digital. Retrieved December 15, 2014. [dead link]
  48. ^ Rebick, Stephanie (2011). "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti". Left Hip Magazine. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  49. ^ Bowe, Miles. "Band To Watch: Saint Pepsi". Stereogum. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  50. ^ Jenkins, Mark (April 22, 2005). "Animal Collective "Sung Tongs" Fat Cat Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti "Worn Copy" Paw Tracks". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  51. ^ Richardson, Mark (June 7, 2010). "Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]