Published Sep 14, 2016Tim Presley is finally making a name for himself. After several records under the acclaimed by still unsung White Fence moniker, Presley's new album The Wink strips him of not only his former moniker but also much of its sonic identity. Where White Fence plays a more raucous, fuzzy, crunchy sound, Presley's work under his own name here is much less fuzzy and much more peculiar. If White Fence is The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Tim Presley is The Madcap Laughs.
The Wink is a very weird, whimsical, spooky, goofball journey full of pianos and synthesizers, a break from Presley's more guitar-based music. The album bounces around from jangly power pop on "Can You Blame" — the song with the most guitar on the record — to the goofball odyssey "Underwater Rain" to the last three tracks that, in particular, show Presley's ability to bounce around sonically. An organ-heavy ballad to Jack Kerouac ("Kerouac") precedes the percussion-heavy, Clash-esque groove of "Clue," on which Presley does some of his best vocal work, and it all ends with an emotional, lo-fi postscript to the album, "Aura Aura." This final track manages to rein in all the restless energy found throughout The Wink and transform it into a beautiful, warm sound that sends you on your way, all the better for experiencing it. (Drag City)