Tim Presley Credit: Tony Accosta

Over the last couple of years LA underground rock fixture Tim Presley (aka White Fence) has been working regularly with beguiling Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon. In 2015 they released a fascinating mess of a record under the name Drinks, and last fall Presley dropped his first album under his given name, one on which Le Bon serves as producer. The music on The Wink (Drag City) is smeared with her fingerprints as she redirects Presley’s deep affection for the Who and early Pink Floyd toward something rooted in British postpunk, with clipped phrasing, stiff and twitchy rhythms, and a loose, probing quality. On “Solitude Cola” his guitar sounds manic in a hyperstrumming post-Velvet Underground fashion—his fake English accent also sounds thicker than ever—while “Long Bow” shifts from rapid rhythmic spasms to a kind of woozy torpor. “ER” is one of several tunes where Presley sounds utterly drugged, but there’s something gripping about the fraught tension of the performances that has kept me glued. Le Bon is opening, so I’m hoping there’ll be plenty of collaboration, since she plays all over his record.   v