Introduucing…Alex Winston!

There’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 “Animal Baby” started making the rounds on several blogs I like. Like much of Winston’s work, “Animal Baby” has a summery cheer that masks a darker emotional current; the song’s real subject is weary disillusionment with an indecisive ex-lover, but when a song’s spunky nonchalance is this effective, you’d never even guess.

Her first single, “Choice Notes,” 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, “Medicine,” might be better still: It’s sad and stubborn, with an irresistible singalong chorus. Both tracks feature production from dance-pop duo The Knocks, who perfectly complement Winston’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. Winston’s retro-pop always sounds modern, never regressive.

So I’m more excited than ever with the release of “Sister Wife,” the first single off of Winston’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 “ooh-oooh”s and aerobic drums and a big belter of a chorus (“Hey there sister wife, get the hell out, it’s my night!”). Having already been championed by The Guardian and NME, Winston’s path to success seems obvious.

Download “Sister Wife” for free via the reliably amazing Neon Gold Records.

The Sister Wife EP will be released via HeavyRoc Records on February 11. (iTunes)

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