Thereâ€™s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Alex Winston.
The Detroit native first appeared on my radar in January 2010 when buzz track â€œAnimal Babyâ€ started making the rounds on several blogs I like. Like much of Winstonâ€™s work, â€œAnimal Babyâ€ has a summery cheer that masks a darker emotional current; the songâ€™s real subject is weary disillusionment with an indecisive ex-lover, but when a songâ€™s spunky nonchalance is this effective, youâ€™d never even guess.
Her first single, â€œChoice Notes,â€ is a fuzzy, Spectorific slice of plucky piano pop that was infectious enough to merit inclusion in a European car commercial, but its B-side, â€œMedicine,â€ might be better still: Itâ€™s sad and stubborn, with an irresistible singalong chorus. Both tracks feature production from dance-pop duo The Knocks, who perfectly complement Winstonâ€™s distinctive, haunting vocals with the kind of subtle, quirky faux-Motown instrumentation that Amy Winehouse and Duffy would rather beat you over the head with. Winstonâ€™s retro-pop always sounds modern, never regressive.
So Iâ€™m more excited than ever with the release of â€œSister Wife,â€ the first single off of Winstonâ€™s forthcoming mini-album of the same name. Only Winston could do a song with a polygamy narrative and produce something winsome and charming, rather than clumsy and precious; there are layers of vocal â€œooh-ooohâ€s and aerobic drums and a big belter of a chorus (â€œHey there sister wife, get the hell out, itâ€™s my night!â€). Having already been championed by The Guardian and NME, Winstonâ€™s path to success seems obvious.
Download â€œSister Wifeâ€ for free via the reliably amazing Neon Gold Records.
The Sister Wife EP will be released via HeavyRoc Records on February 11. (iTunes)