DRINKS is a collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley of White Fence.
In the Beginner's Guide to Zen, it's said that very few people can put dots on a piece of paper in random order. No matter how hard they try, there's almost always an order to where they place them. But Drinks seem to have forgotten what they know about music, about order, and it’s led to them creating something I’m not used to hearing, dare I use the words pure and original. Hippo Lite actually reminds me of the The Shaggs, at least their background story which tells of three sisters given instruments with no formal training and then recording an album under the direction of their father. Odd percussion, various string loops, an organ, and more flutter throughout the album to orchestrate a folksy baroque affair.
Hippo Lite is a breath of fresh air from the frantic punk-energy of Drinks debut album Hermits on Holiday. In fact, the recording process Presley and Le Bon took to record Hippo Lite is essentially a tribute to the title of their debut album. Tale has it, the two of them holed up somewhere in Europe without internet for a few months and recorded the simple sounds of life.
Where it could fail as a piece of experimental gibberish, Hippo Lite works for a few reasons, one being the folksy charm that surrounds the whole thing. It feels like an open dialogue – like an album full of simple questions directed at the listener. Does this work? Are you comfortable? Do you know where you are? Would you like to join us? It’s romantic once you spend time with it. Timeless, really. No trends or fads, just pure invention from two quirks enjoying a sort of solitude in a quaint and pre-digital age village.