Monday, November 11, 2013

Alex Winston is back, and she's angry

I was totally mystified that Brooklyn's Alex Winston didn't become MEGA in 2011.

Sister Wife, her debut single, was an ode to polygamous marriages with a chorus the size of an elephant. She followed it up with Velvet Elvis, a song about falling in love with a portrait of "The King". It's chorus was the size of an elephant standing on top of another elephant, if you can imagine such a preposterous thing.

Sadly, radio didn't get behind the music. Maybe Winston's lyrics were too quirky and intelligent to sit next to Rihanna singing about strip clubs, maybe the bizarre video treatments weren't very MTV-friendly (even Miley Cyrus might draw the line at having a cat vomit blood into her face) but that's a huge shame, because her colourful brand of oddpop deserves to be heard.

Speaking to Vice recently, the singer spoke of her frustrations with the first album: The record company wouldn't promote it unless she toured, and venues wouldn't book her unless the record company promoted the album.

"I don't understand how this business works. It never makes sense," she said. "Everyone's on fucking drugs."

Winston's new single (self-produced and self-released) is no less angry. "In a sea of motherfuckers, man, you were no salvation, face it," she scolds. Asked if she was addressing anyone in particular, Winston simply replied: "Yes. Can I leave it at that?" - but I wonder if the fact she recently sacked her manager might have anything to do with it...

Still, rarely has anger sounded so beautiful. 101 Vultures is awash in angelic harmonies and subtly brushed chords. If you've been enjoying Goldfrapp's new album, you're going to love this, too.

Alex Winston - 101 Vultures

And if you like your winsome pop to come with a slightly bigger thud, this remix by NICITA (a side project of MS MR) will do the trick.

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