Artist: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Title: Before Today
Cat No: CAD3X15
Release date: 7th June 2010
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In June, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti released their debut album for 4AD, Before Today. For the best part of a decade, Los Angeles native Ariel Rosenberg had been carving out his own unique brand of intoxicating pop music, releasing a series of albums to underground acclaim along the way. However, as noted in an an interview with Simon Reynolds, Ariel considered Before Today to be his 'first record'.
No longer a bedroom based project as on previous recordings, the initial sessions for Before Today took place at Encino at the House of Blues studio (once Tito Jackson’s home studio) before additional tracking at the band’s home studios. The album took nearly six months to complete, with around half of the record completed with Sunny Levine at the dials, and the rest being typically self-produced and recorded.
As was suggested by the nature of its recording, the pre-release of 'Round and Round' made it clear that Before Today was to represent not so much a break from Ariel's past, but a logical progression. Infused with his trademark idiosyncrasies and cannibalistic approach to genre, Before Today was lit up by both a clear hereto uncharacteristic fidelity and, for the first time, a band of musicians able to channel Ariel's off-kilter vision. Such a change brought the band to new audiences and the album was widely celebrated from the underground press to the mainstream. 'Round and Round' was accompanied by a video made by The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne on his iPhone and was rightly acknowledged as the best song of 2010 by Pitchfork.
With the backing of a full band, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti began touring the world to great success, recording several live sessions along the way. These included a 4 track performance for Pitchfork and 5 songs as part of the burgeoning 4AD Sessions series. Watch the sessions here and here. Fans have more opportunities to see the band live in 2011, with shows in Japan and Australia scheduled for the first few months of the year.
Before Today is out now on CD, LP and download.