Alex Winston - King Con

The classically trained singer showcases her ability to belt out a good, old-fashioned catchy song.


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. Despite the simple nature and catchiness of the songs, Winston’s voice may take a while to get used to. It’s not dissimilar to Joanna Newsom’s high-pitched tones, or one of the many vocal incarnations of PJ Harvey. It’s quirky, with a wonderfully unique tone that perhaps makes the songs more interesting to listen to than they would be otherwise.

The songs are well crafted and don’t take much thought or repeated plays to absorb you, but sometimes the simple records are the most enjoyable. The euphoric choruses that Alex Winston seems so good at writing are in abundance on ‘King Con’, and take a similar road throughout the record. The songs rarely stray from this safe road, but towards the end of the album the songs lose their immediate, sparkly happy go lucky tone and show a softer, more melancholic side. ‘Benny’ is an example of this, where Winston’s emotive voice pulls you in and makes you believe in every word she’s singing.

Lyrically, the album is on the slightly bizarre side with Winston swinging from declaring her love for Elvis, fire ants and feeding on hosts. It’s refreshing to listen to an album with so many topics as opposed to the usual “boy meets girl”. Winston seems in control of all her songs, and every track on the record deserves its place; no song is there to waste time and that’s rare for a debut album. It’s oddly accomplished, and Winston’s classical background shines through. Every single note played seems to be incredibly well thought out, structured and there’s not a wasted tone; Alex Winston has set the bar incredibly high for any of her future releases. As we come into spring and hopefully see more of the warm weather, it’s a perfect album to waste away sunny days with. Even in the rain, it’s the album to add sparkle and cheer to any day.
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