Tim Presley is somewhat of an enigma on the scene, the kind of musician where musical mastermind transcends persona. Bouncing between San Francisco and L.A., he’s also bounced between projects: The Nerve Agents to Darker My Love to even The Fall. But that’s no knock on his prolific work ethic, which has seen him releasing six albums as White Fence between 2010 and 2014, including one with fellow prolific musician Ty Segall, collaborating with Cate Le Bon as Drinks, and writing experimental music under the name W-X. All these myriad projects under his belt, he somehow has time for another, this one much simpler. He’s releasing an album under his own name this September.
It’s interesting to process what a solo record means in this context. Presley has largely been writing music solo for years under various names, but we’re taking another output of his psychedelic bonkers with pride. Produced by Cate Le Bon, The WiNK is being released by Drag City on September 16 and also featured Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint on drums. Now, we can hear its first single, the jaunty, percussive, funky in its own way “Clue.”
Presley’s distinctly posh vocals are the thing that anchors the track, something to grab on to in the sea of fragmented instrumentals. Guitar, percussion, keyboards, bass, and random bleep-bloops come together to form a wacky collage of sound. Because of the piecemeal way it’s put together, it really makes you take time to appreciate each musical bit individually. And because it’s over in two and a half minutes, you really get time to make sense of the psychedelic mashup you just heard. For one, his being slightly behind the beat, combined with everything else, causes an acute sense of anxiety. But pop it on for another 2.5 minutes, and maybe you’ll hear something completely different.
The WiNK is out September 16 on Drag City Records.