Release Date: Apr 10, 2012
Record label: Cooperative Music / V2 Records
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Dance
The full-length follow-up to her 2011 debut EP Sister Wife, 2012's King Con features more of singer/songwriter Alex Winston's buoyant, technicolor psych and folk-influenced pop. A opera-trained vocalist, the Michigan-born Winston came off as a kind of cherubic indie rock Kate Bush on Sister Wife, and King Con does nothing if not reinforce this notion. These are meticulously crafted, gargantuanly melodic songs that frame Winston's fairy siren of a voice with swirling, sparkling productions (via the Knocks) rife with bells and keyboards, shimmering guitar bits, and veritable marching bands of rhythm.
It may seem hard to believe due to the number of EPs she’s released, but NYC–based songstress Alex Winston has finally gotten around to releasing her first proper full-length. Not straying far from her brand of indie dream-pop, songs like opener “Fire Ant” showcase the singer’s vocal range. The track that inspired the album’s title, “Velvet Elvis” is poppy and catchy, though the lyrics represent a far darker side.
In a pop landscape filled with cartoonish characters and alter-egos, the first refreshing thing about New Yorker Alex Winston is her name. Confidence in her own skin is something Winston revels in and turns into her most powerful weapon on her debut record, King Con. Her songs are undeniably poppy and well-produced but reject the ice-cream gloss or ambiguity of many other contemporary pop artists.
Pop music usually concerns itself with talking about feelings; it’s not usually the territory of electroshock therapy and televangelists. Which is a wasted opportunity. Genuine sentiment is hard to convey in a love song, but it’s easy to relate the peculiarities of society. With the release of her debut album, King Con, Alex Winston has forgone deep personal reflection and confession in favour of interpreting the stories and ideas of others.
The curse of the ‘kooky’ moniker is to be feared. Take a female singer with a brunette barnet, a tingle in her voice and a literary sensibility, then watch those Kate Bush comparisons come flying out of the cliché cupboard.Detroit Anglophile Winston is bound to be battered by those comparisons, but the truth is rather more prosaic on a debut that is strangely unmoving.The music clasps at the sprawling and elemental (there’s a post-Arcade Fire feel, thanks in part to collaborations with Lykke Li’s producer Björn Yttling) and her vocals have a Joanna Newsom tickle to them, but it feels too affected to be truly effecting.[i]Priya Elan[/i] .
Following Alex Winston’s 2010 emergence with her Knocks-produced, Stones-inspired Basement Covers EP, many a blogger latched onto the fact that the 24-year-old singer/songwriter possesses virtually the same vocal range as Kate Bush. Both vocalists have been recognized for employing an innocent, giddy soprano as their chief means of conveying anything-but-innocent, giddy lyrics, and this is still true of Winston on her debut LP of self-penned pop tunes, King Con. But where Bush often stilts her pipes atop minimalistic piano melodies, here Winston surrounds her voice with walls upon walls of painstakingly produced sound.
After several EPs, Detroit’s own Alex Winston has finally released a full-length record, ‘King Con’. A former opening act for Chuck Berry, the classically trained singer showcases her ability to belt out a good, old-fashioned catchy song. Opener ‘Fire Ant’ shows her preview her PJ Harvey influence to the full, with interesting changes of pace throughout from twinkly underlying piano lines to a full on march.
Cute female indie-pop has all but become a genre in its own right. After Feist blazed the trail, a slew of artists, including Canadian favs like Hannah Georgas and Rebekah Higgs, followed in her wake. The early singles released by Brooklynite Alex Winston implied that she had just enough originality to step ahead of the pack, but last year's Sister Wife "mini-album" hinted that those early tunes might have been the best she had.
A joyless album where wacky intonation obscures some potentially appealing harmonies. Natalie Shaw 2012 A key fallout of the Lana Del Rey echo chamber of hype was the revelation that so many music critics let their fascination with A&R process amplify anticipation for an album to fever pitch. As the noise rose, so did the low-level snooping – and the questions became so loud that reviewers barely even required a copy of the album.