“The work of a unique mind.” - NME
"A fascinating listen." - The Times (4/5)
“Mature Themes is the best thing Pink has ever done" - Stereogum
“A perfectly-crafted album, rich in just about everything.” - The Fly (4.5/5)
"We should salute Ariel Pink. Let him into your life. Love him." - Guardian Guide
"A brilliantly odd piece of work that pushes the weirdness of Ariel Pink to new heights." - The Observer
August 20th marked the release of Mature Themes, the latest album from West Coast natives Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.
Before Today, released in 2012, was the band’s 4AD debut, offering the first sign that the intriguingly scatalogical music Ariel had been making for over a decade was finally ossifying into a coherent form. For many it seemed that Ariel had finally reached the wider audience his early recordings had hinted was possible. With Mature Themes, Haunted Graffiti have forged a record that raises the bar once again.
Mature Themes is a self-produced affair, with former member Cole MGN drafted in to provide some drum programming and additional mixing duties. Far removed from Ariel’s early bedroom recordings, the sardonically titled Mature Themes reflects a more collaborative process, with the often-overlooked virtuoso musicianship of the band bought to the fore.
While the creative process was new, familiar Ariel Pink signatures remained. In fact, Mature Themes felt like the definitive Haunted Graffiti record - a patchwork of modern America, its esoteric reference points and moments of lyrical lucidity a twilight excursion through backwater LA and late-night TV channel hopping.
The album saw the band feature on the front cover of The Wire magazine; a first for the band that also marked their recognition as an important force in contemporary pop, and an artist who's work continues to inspire and set the standard for others.
Travis Peterson directed a video for lead single 'Only In My Dreams'. Starring a pink-hued Ariel flexing his acting muscle, he was seen on a pursuit to find love again after being spurned by a long-term girlfriend. Peterson had this to say about his work: "Some people dream in black and white, some in colour, and some people dream only in sound. Ariel Pink dreams in VHS." You can watch 'Only In My Dreams' below.