Ariel Pink = John Maus / James Ferraro
Try to understand two things before trying to put your finger on who and what Ariel Pink is: James Ferraro—particularly his Night Dolls With Hairspray album—and the term “hypnagogic pop.” Ferraro once described his music as, “pop in a pop art kind of way.” Referring to his Night Dolls album specifically, Ferraro said, "I was really inspired to try to make just weird B-movie style trash." Those words would typically describe most of Ariel Pink’s work, but none of it has ever been harder to pin down than pom pom. In fact, Ariel Pink almost has me convinced that he’s the Brian Wilson of our generation. That's probably an overstatement, but listen to the cartoon fantasia of “Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade,” or the animated surf rock of “Nude Beach A Go-Go,” and you just might be inspired to revisit Smile. Pom pom is easily one of the most fascinating and entertaining releases of 2014.