Release Date: Jan 25, 2019
Record label: Drag City
Songwriter Tim Presley's fried psychedelia as White Fence began as an exceptionally lo-fi rendering of tripped-out bedroom folk. His 2014 offering For the Recently Found Innocent was one of his most polished efforts, and even that upgraded production was scrappy at best. (It was recorded in the garage of longtime friend Ty Segall on a reel-to-reel eight track.) In the five years that followed, Presley was prolifically working on other projects, mainly DRINKS, a duo between he and songwriter Cate Le Bon that produced two albums of deranged, alien sounds during the downtime from White Fence.
You could argue that the two key sides of prolific Californian Tim Presley jostling for dominance can be found in his two main collaborators: on one end, you’ve got psych-addled garage weirdo Ty Segall, on the other, idiosyncratic Welsh singer Cate le Bon. While ‘…Larry’s Hawk’ has tinges of both sides in its ’60s guitars and whimsical, pastoral folk, however, what dominates is his ability to pen strange, warm tracks like ‘Lorelei’ that are totally out of step yet tug on familiar melodic heartstrings. Like Syd Barrett or, more recently, Euros Childs before him, White Fence continues to make the peripheries seem oddly accessible.
Joy, recorded with Ty Segall and released last year, was a cocksure, psychedelia-tinged swirl of sex and limbs and thumping rhythms. I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk exhibits little of this exuberance and is in large part a more gentle work of perspective and introspection, aided by a curatorial production that treats each element of the music, electronic or acoustic, like a moving part of a clockwork diorama, Presley's breathy vocals condensing on the glass of the bell jar as he watches them all tick and turn. The title track crests the horizon like a halogen dawn, with Presley offering the morning sermon: "Take off your hat and your digital la-la / Take time for yourself / I dare take some time for me".
Ten years ago, Tim Presley was playing guitar on a stage in Brooklyn as a member of Darker My Love; their set was sandwiched between All the Saints and headliner These Arms Are Snakes. All three of those rock bands bit the dust a long time ago, but Presley is alive and well. The Bay-area rocker has come a long way since being the uninvited guitar player of hardcore punk band The Nerve Agents in the late 1990s.
White Fence, now rebranded as Tim Presley's White Fence for reasons that may only be clear to Presley's ego, were providers of fine bursts of psychedelia played with the brash urgency of a garage combo on their early work. Since 2010, White Fence has released a number of albums, as well as collaborations with Ty Segall and under the moniker DRINKS with Cate le Bon. It is the work with the latter that seems to have had most impact on I Have to Feed Larry's Hawk.
I Have to Feed Larry's Hawk by Tim Presley's White Fence Tim Presley has been collaborating a lot lately, whether in the jarring, jangling Young Marble Giants-ish whimsies of Drinks with Cate Le Bon, or in full-on fuzz-rock mode with Ty Segall. With this album, he steps back into the solitude of his White Fence project, venturing wispy fragments of psychedelic folk rock and two extended instrumental reveries. I Have to Feed Larry's Hawk is as odd and idiosyncratic as the title suggests, but also quietly gorgeous.