And here I was thinking that that Drinks record he did with Cate LeBon was weird! Tim Presley, the guy behind White Fence to most of you, is preparing to drop a new record, The Wink, on Drag City, this Friday. It's a somewhat more accessible affair than that collaboration with Cate LeBon but, make no mistake, it's still a bit odd.
If the title cut is beautiful like a Nilsson track, "Can You Blame" is closer in spirit to The Normal trying to cover a Lennon solo cut. Unlike anything else you're likely to hear this year, this is affecting stuff. Elsewhere, on "Goldfish Wheelchair", Presley hits at something like the early material from Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians, while choppy "Long Bow" hits at the peak years of Wire with a certain affection. If "Kerouac" and "Aura Aura" recall the riskier moments on the first few releases from any number of New Zealand bands -- Chris Knox, mostly -- they also resonate with a listener as sort of updates on the skewed pop that Syd Barrett tried his hand at, or even the darker moments on Big Star's Third album.
Tim Presley is taking a lot of chances on this one and for the most part he succeeds. The Wink is wildly inventive within the narrow confines of what he's attempting to do here and his remains a distinctive voice in the indie world. Fans of all the acts I've mentioned in attempting to describe this record, will probably enjoy The Wink from Tim Presley when it drops on Drag City this Friday.
[Photo: Cate LeBon]