Cover photo by John Lamparski
Los Angeles-born one-man band, Ariel Pink, remains a politicized figure in the indie -scene because of his megalomaniac tendencies and vitriolic statements, but time and time again he proves how the tape-pressed, bizzaro-land, home-recorded sound is his for the conquering. From disco to UK punk rock to Bob Dylan-esque ballads and back again on the same record, Ariel’s newest record, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, calls back to the earlier days of Ariel Pink’s pre-celeb status when he would release records ‘lo-fi’ enough to make your mother worry about you. Cuts such as “Time To Live” (which might best be described as ‘medieval new wave’) or “Acting,” featuring living legend Dam-Funk, are all over the tracklist, giving us another avenue to explore the wacky, inner machinations of the weirdest living popstar.
“Kitchen Witch” sits comfortably in the back half of the record. The synth stabs are dulled and circus-like, Ariel’s vocals completely drowned out in reverb and delay. Female guest vocals by SoundCloud prom queen, Charles, air out the track and glide around in dream pop ecstasy, maybe the only genre untouched by Ariel Pink up until now. The song’s cyclical structure is a merry-go-round of bliss where each vocalist lifts the song’s inherent groove until it eventually fades away. Charles’ voice is a nice break from Ariel’s masculine energy and lends itself nicely to the shoegaze nostalgia that the song was made to mimic. Whether you listen to Ariel Pink for his over-the-top antics, divisive sense of humor, or for his musical prowess and songwriting talent, “Kitchen Witch” nails it all.