Ariel Pink / Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

House Arrest

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From the time he began releasing music in the late '90s until 2004, lo-fi L.A. songwriter Ariel Pink prolifically wrote and recorded volumes of hazy sounding, structurally fractured pop music under the moniker Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. These unhinged sounds from his unknown days would develop as his cult status grew into indie success with albums starting in the 2010s, but in his earliest phases, Pink was simply throwing any and every idea at the wall and releasing what stuck as homemade CD-R albums. Of his extensive output in this time, nowhere was he quite as in tune with his west coast pop side as on fifth album House Arrest. The album begins with "Hardcore Pops Are Fun," a direct homage to simpleminded pop music that mangles Beach Boys harmonies and bubblegum melodies with the signature muffled production Pink had been perfecting at the time. "Interesting Results" also approaches jangle pop, but gets cut off at the pass by manically shifting song structures, key changes, and blasts of unexpected percussion. Much of House Arrest moves in this nonlinear fashion, jumping from idea to idea within the same song. The goofy and hamfisted "Gettin' High in the Morning" uses its almost-seven-minute running time skittering between faux-metal riffing, XTC-styled vocal hooks, and Zappa-esque technical intricacy. By this point, Pink had developed a correspondence with established outsider songwriter R. Stevie Moore, and the influence of Moore's irreverent surrealism is all over House Arrest. Would-be dramatic pop songs like "Every Night I Die at Miyagis" and "The People I'm Not" are stopped from taking themselves too seriously at every turn, Pink disrupting their flow with obscene interjections or weird, out-of-place breakdowns. As with all of his early work, Pink's melodic gifts are at odds with his eccentricities throughout the album. Where other albums from this era were swallowed in existential bleakness or gave into cartoonish indulgences, pop gets the upper hand on House Arrest. While it's still far from accessible, it's the album from his early days where Pink buries his songs in strangeness to a lesser degree, letting more of himself come through in the songs. When he allowed his own weird breed of Pacific Ocean pop to come to the surface as it did on House Arrest, Pink indeed achieved some of his most interesting results.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 04:23 SpotifyAmazon
2 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 02:43 SpotifyAmazon
3 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 03:59 SpotifyAmazon
4 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 03:55 SpotifyAmazon
5 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 06:44 SpotifyAmazon
6 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 04:14 SpotifyAmazon
7 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 03:57 SpotifyAmazon
8 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 05:03 SpotifyAmazon
9 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 02:57 SpotifyAmazon
10 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 06:02 SpotifyAmazon
11 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 04:46 SpotifyAmazon
12 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 05:02 SpotifyAmazon
13 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 09:11 SpotifyAmazon
14 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Ariel Pink 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
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