White Fence

For the Recently Found Innocent

Written by: BV on 01/08/2014 12:20:38

White Fence is the moniker under which the highly prolific, Los Angeles-based psych-rocker Tim Presley records the most part of his material. After having been sorely disappointed by his 2013 album “Cyclops Reap”, one would perhaps have thought that I might sit out on this next effort by him; “For the Recently Found Innocent”. However, as you probably know by now, that is fortunately not the case. Fortunate indeed, as Presley has teamed up with Ty Segall once more, albeit in a slightly different capacity than when the two last cooperated. This time around, Segall has been brought in as a producer – thus expanding on the sonic confines of White Fence.

Now as those who have listened to White Fence before will know, Tim Presley has a strange affection for the psychedelic whims of the sixties both in terms of Syd Barrett’s eclecticism and the more straightforward West Coast folk-rock antics of Buffalo Springfield. Where he differs though, is that out of most of this growing tendency, Presley stands out as a quite interesting songwriter in his own right – borrowing inspiration here and there, but making his own unique imprint on the sound (much more so than your average Nuggets compilation devotees).

Take for instance the track “Sandra (When the Earth Dies)” where Presley is channeling equal amounts of Donovan inspirations, whilst constantly bending the arrangements to his own will, never really falling into the dominant traps commonly found in revivalist settings. Here you’ll find no high-end gear specifically brought in to conjure up the magical sounds of a mellotron, no expensive studio-gear to conjure up the sound of flanging, backwards drumming. No, instead you’ll find cleverly arranged, guitar-centered pieces of 60’s psych-pop wherein traces of the decade’s most notable songwriters are evident – albeit in slightly skewed versions. Where Presley perhaps falls into the deep end of the waters is with the somewhat forced British accent which, of course, seems to have become a staple within this spectrum (look no further than Jacco Gardner for a prime example). Nonetheless, the whimsical organ notes, the gentle acoustic guitar and slightly hazy vocals make for an excellent listening experience that seems to linger on for most parts of the album, like on the exceptional “Wolf Gets Red Faced“ and “Hard Water“ .

One of the album’s ultimate highlights, “Like That”, seems to channel a fair bit of The Smith’s too – coming off as the bastard child of the 60’s psych bubbles and the 80’s jangle of British indie pop. It’s a most welcome part of the White Fence soundscape that is, surprisingly, not explored that often – but nonetheless one that seems a fairly logical step, seeing as much of the British wave of indie pop and alternative rock had firm roots planted in the earliest of psych traditions – coupled with a fair dose of punk values too, of course.

But where does that leave us with “For the Recently Found Innocent”? For one, it is a remarkable leap forward from “Cyclops Reap” and the influence of Ty Segall’s production is undeniable. In terms of sound and songwriting, “For the Recently Found Innocent” is easily Presley’s strongest achievement to this date. It is an achievement that has me yearning for more; especially more collaborations with Ty Segall as magic seems to happen when those two forces of nature collide.

8

Download: Sandra (When the Earth Dies), Like That, Wolf Gets Red Faced, Fear, Hard Water
For the fans of: Jacco Gardner, Foxygen, Ty Segall, The Setting Son
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.07.2014
Drag City


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