Tim Presley has, of course, offered up interesting records under his White Fence moniker, like 2016's The Wink, or that last Drinks album with Cate Le Bon, or the other Drinks record from even earlier. And while Presley can confound and perplex, he can also charm, and lots and lots of his new album, I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk, charms.
The record, billed to Tim Presley's White Fence, drops on Drag City on Friday, and it's alternately lush and (gently) discordant. The title cut is elegant, as is the John Cale-like "Phone", but it's stuff like the brighter "I Love You" that really grabbed me. A near-glam guitar-hook jostles with Presley's disembodied vocals, and the overall effect is like some odd mix of Tiny Tim and Syd Barrett. It's a blast of a tune, and "Lorelei" is even better. A bracing bit of art-rock, the track recalls early recordings from Broadcast, or even a more stripped-down Cardinal. Elsewhere, "I Can Dream You" marries a stark melody with faint flashes of instrumental ornamentation, while the fantastic "Forever Chained" soars and pops, like something off The White Album re-imagined by Seventies Bowie.
And while I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk succeeds as a bracing chamber pop record, it oversteps a bit by throwing two epic-length electronic pieces on to the album. At nearly 17 minutes total, these two tracks really distracted me from the charms that were peppered throughout the rest of the release. Still, I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk is one of the best Tim Presley offerings in recent memory.
I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk by Tim Presley's White Fence is out on Friday via Drag City.
[Photo: Devendra Banhart]