Ariel Pink Plays Hard to Get

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I suppose now that the first track is out I can talk about the Ariel Pink listening party I went to several weeks ago where some LA cats got a preview of his forthcoming album.

Needless to say it was a sublimely strange and completely lysergic fever dream of a listen, that left a lot of listeners blissfully weirded out.

At one point, my good friend Theo turned to me and asked me, “Do you think he’s a genius?”

At the time, I was so 3am punchdrunk by the trip I told him I frankly didn’t know how to answer the question, because my head was swirling with a combination of dread, confusion, exhilaration, wonder and awe at what Pink has created.

It’s sunny AM Gold and vicious visceral weirdness that is punker than any aggressive aural assault I’ve heard in a long time.

But now that the first taste of the full length (called Pom Pom) out, a lush, seemingly romantic number called, “Put Your Number in My Phone” I can assuredly answer Theo’s question.

Yes. Yes he is.

It’s a perfect snapshot of what makes Pink so infinitely fascinating and devastatingly uncanny.

A summery slice of lovely pop, he repeatedly invites the beloved listener to put their number in his phone so that eventually we can link up later and get to know each other.

But, a jarring phone message mid-track reminds one that Pink is actually painfully unavailable.

It’s a nasty gut punch reminder of how actually inaccessible he is despite his invitation. Simultaneously, it draws you in and makes you feel that maybe, just maybe…he’ll call you back and you’ll both maybe, just maybe, find everything you’ve ever been looking for.

For now, I’ll happily settle for knowing that I’ve called and maybe, just maybe he will…and that’s actually (by definition) more sublime than if he calls back and shatters the illusion.

If it’ll be this pretty the whole time I wait, I’ll happily settle for that reality.