King Con, Alex Winston’s debut album has been confirmed for release on April 10th through V2 / Cooperative Music.
An exhilarating collection of songs, the album title reflects the multi-instrumentalist’s innate fascination in the pretenders of the world: everyday con-men, cult leaders and sham preachers.
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 EP, 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 "Shock Me" to the eerie harmonies of "Fire Ant" and the soaring chorus of "Choice Notes".
Having recently supported Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Gotye and played a string of UK festivals in the summer including Bestival, V and Underage, Alex Winston will be announcing a new set of UK dates shortly.
Additionally, Alex has been working on series of documentaries to run alongside the album. Whilst on tour in the UK, she sought out characters in the local area to interview them and the first of these will be aired shortly.
"Her vocals are reminiscent of Kate Bush in terms of tone, but she also has an edge of quirkiness and a feverish delivery that lends urgency even in the moments when lyrics become foggy." Pitchfork
"A 22-year-old Detroit singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who is classically trained in opera but is causing a stir in the indie and pop worlds with her dizzying pipes and heartfelt lyrics." SPIN
"Danceable melodies, poetic lyrics, and, most importantly, a charming delivery wrapped in a whimsical indie-pop aesthetic." Vogue
"Winston takes strong inspiration from Motown girl groups and crafts nostalgic pop songs, but she sets herself apart from her predecessors, by using the pop song formula to showcase more thought provoking lyrics. Her stage persona shifted from dramatic to funny multiple times and she never fails to deliver as a vocalist or performer." Brooklyn Vegan