Tim Presley - The Wink LP
Label: Drag City
Tim Presley has dropped the White Fence moniker, at least for the time being, and The Wink marks the first outing under his own name. Presley has started recording as White Fence in 2010, with those first albums exhibiting a penchant for breezy, unkempt melodies amidst blown-out psychedelia that looked back in equal parts to the Seeds and to shambolic facets to the Elephant 6 collective. With the last couple of White Fence records and certainly on the Drinks collaboration with Cate Le Bon, Presley contorted those melodies into mutant janglse afright with irregular signatures and Syd Barrett-esque eccentricities. For The Wink, Presley is working once again with Le Bon who has donned the cap as his producer. Her presence is noticable throughout this album as manifest in a carnivalesque art-pop restraint that was heard on her very impressive Crab Day album. Presley scribbles across his guitar in repeating phrases of angular, slightly atonal riffs, creating brash pointilist marks against his rollicking post-paisley-pop rhythms. These off-kilter arrangements snap with deconstructed post-punk crispness, contrasted by the rumpled elegance of his mercurial croon. In lesser hands, Presley's vocal affect would come across as dandy flippancy, but he what he compellingly produces throughout The Wink is a channelling of the quixotic charms of Kevin Ayers with the pop innovations of Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain and more than a few nods to the baroque weirdness from Human League's Phil Oakley. A cracked gem of a record!