Album of the Week: Tim Presley – The WiNK (Drag City)

For the past year it’s seemed as if Tim Presley — of The Strange Boys, Darker My Love, and White Fence — has entered a post-modern phase in his career, forgetting all he’s ever learned about music but the bare essentials and started building back up. While this artistic transformation first emerged in the abstract minimal psychedelia of his 2015 collaboration with Welsh folkster Cate Le Bon, he pushed this idea ever further in his project as W-X later that year. This record, which relied heavily on distortion, feedback and various other psychedelic effects to create hypnotizing soundscapes, sounded unlike any of his previous work. In The WiNK, Presley’s first record under his own name, we see the artist coming full circle, releasing what sounds like White Fence from a parallel universe.

With the help of Cate Le Bon working production duties, Presley manages to dish out a diverse palette of pseudo-garage-rock ditties which prove to be some of his best in years. While the songwriting and the structure stand in line with his work in White Fence, it’s Le Bon’s production which ultimately shapes it. Injecting her characteristically fractured and nervy style to Presley’s songs, she brings out a side of him seldom seen, most closely resembling The Raincoats. The sonic variety of this LP is it’s most impressive characteristic. Although the track list is quite diverse, Presley stays true to the album’s stylistic theme while managing to give every song its own identity.

The WiNK shows Presley in a different light than ever before, swapping his thick fuzz tone for a cleaner and snappier sound, his straightforward psychedelic melodies for angular Le Bon-tinged ones. Qualities such as his quirky lyrical style, mock English accent, and unpredictable song structure bring the listener back down to earth. This album stands out not only as one of the garage rocker’s best, but as one of his most original and most interesting. Considering the breadth of his recent work, while we can’t be sure what his next project will sound like, we can be sure it’ll be exciting.

Key Tracks: “The Wink,” “Long Blow,” “Kerouac”

Honorable Mentions:
Preoccupations – Preoccupations (Flemish Eye)
Elephant Stone – Ship of Fools (Elephants on Parade)
Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years (Sinderlyn)

 

 

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