The Winks / Tight
At the heart of The Winks is the dastardly duo of Todd Macdonald (voice/mandolin) and Tyr Jamie (voice/cello). The majority of the
songs feature the simultaneous dual recital of poetic, lyrical
wonders. All the while the mandolin is plinking and the cello is
sliding up and down and in and out through the mix. No two songs sit
in the same boat-each is floating along the jungle river at a
different pace with a different collection of instruments in tow. The
song-craft displayed here is one of an excited and experimental
caliber; it puts a mischievous smile on the listener's face. There are
three songs of lyrical and instrumental antics followed by a two
minute instrumental track and then three more with vocals. Which
reminds me, the Winks are a very playful and multi-lingual group.
Therefore, they like to randomly sing in languages other than English.
This is mainly in regards to Tyr. Her girlish voice lisps (it's cute
though!) through effected French and German on several songs. Sometimes even their English is kooky! As in the song "Boxes," where Tyr sings "Trees made of aleeumineeium ." This is not just some funny pronunciation of "aluminum," that's the way the lyric-book reads letter for letter! Not riding back-seat, Todd's voice has a rage that fits in perfectly with the group's sound. He sings in a moderately pitched croon that can hit both the high notes and low notes (sometimes at the same time through multi-tracking) with ease. The Winks side ends with the longest of their seven songs which readies the listener for the kaleidoscopic sounds of Tights . Tights is Tyr and Todd from Winks along with their good pal Andy Dixon. You may recognize Andy as Secret Mommy, the owner of Ache Records, and/or a former member of the Red Light Sting. Either way, he puts his laptop to good use in this improvisational super-group. Tights makes it up as they go and you can tell. The six songs blend together to form a colorful, thirty minute sound-collage that gives the ear everything it needs to have a good time. There are the low-end rumbles of heavily EQed laptop bass and distorted cello, the trebly screech of an effected mandolin, chopped-up vocals that say all sorts of things, as well as rhodes piano and more sounds that could be anything. The sounds are free-flowing and they stroll along at a leisurely and curious pace. It doesn't matter that all three of the players are doing different things at different times without really thinking about it. It's all good.
- Scott Moore