February 3rd, 2012
Whilst I take issue with the curious production decision to record Ms Winston’s vocals in a tiled bathroom, at the bottom of a well, this remains sugar packed, full fat, perfect pop. Such is its irrepressible charm, I apologise in advance if you’re whistling ‘Choice Notes’ for the rest of the weekend. And, if you like this, the benevolent chaps at RCRD LBL have got a bunch of FREE remixes for your downloading pleasure.
“Originally from Detroit, most of the songs on Alex’s debut LP are inspired by books and documentaries about marginal subcultures in America, with the resulting record almost acting as a musical adaptation of the works of Errol Morris and Louis Theroux. ‘King Con’ – the suggestion that an Elvis impersonator is the ultimate con – came to Alex after spending several months in an Elvis costume herself whilst promoting her recent single ‘Velvet Elvis’. ‘Velvet Elvis’ itself is inspired by objectum sexuality and the documentary ‘I Married the Eiffel Tower’.
Alex’s previous releases, including an acclaimed mini-album, were recorded on Garageband and ‘King Con’ sees her take a step up in terms of production, working with the likes of Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeran, Crystal Fighters), Bjorn Yttling (Lykke Li) and The Knocks. Winston sings in the international language of pure joy, producing a giddy, heart-stopping sound. However, beneath that Sixties pop-tinged soul exuberance lie hidden depths. On ‘Benny’, a poignant warning of Benny Hinn – a preacher whose healing powers seem to be in proportion to church donations – Alex sings “Benny Benny / Takes my penny / Then he skins me to the bone”.
Not wanting to deride the subjects of these stories though, Alex translates them to everyday situations. In ‘Run Rumspringa’, she applies Rumspringa – the condoned acts of adolescence rebellion in the Amish church – to a relationship. ‘Sister Wife’, inspired by polygamy, is about not wanting to share something you love. Traces of her Motown influences can be seen on ‘King Con’ and it is full of Alex’s signature melodies, from the stunning, propulsive percussion on ‘The Fold’ to the eerie harmonies of ‘Fire Ant’ and the soaring chorus of ‘Choice Notes’.”
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