After more than ten years, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti manages to stay relevant despite the current over saturation of the chillwave/chillcore/chillout/dreamwave/dreampop genre. With the release of their latest single, “Round and Round,” from the album, Before Today, the band sprints ahead of the pack.
The song includes elements that can be found on previous Haunted Graffiti albums, such as Ariel’s frequent use of harmony and poppy melodies, and gives them some extra attention in the production studio. The listener is left with a shinier, more polished sound than what can be found on previous albums.
Not only does the song boast better production quality, but it is more accessible than past singles. “Round and Round” is catchy, infused with highly melodic vocals over a steady, bouncy baseline. Although it’s a pop song that can rival any on the airwaves today, Pink’s unique sound is undoubtedly at its core. The song chooses to employ the help of a mid tempo beat that stays constant throughout and works well with the baseline. “Round and Round” is driven by its instrumental elements and Pink, singing more clearly than usual, sews all of the parts of the song together with well-crafted vocal tracks.
Plenty of artists are associated with the baby-making genre that is currently flooding the radio waves and invading dancefloors everywhere. Ariel Pink is not one of them. The music from previous albums, home recordings wrapped in indiscernible lyrics, manipulated vocals and driven by distorted synthesizers and guitars, usually doesn’t come to mind when the candles are low and your special gentleman or lady friend is looking for inspiration. But with the release of “Round and Round,” the band has the potential of earning a place in the hearts of poorly-lit dancefloor patrons everywhere. Whether intentional or not, the song is sexy in its own right and marks a new era for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. — Aba Essel