Alex Winston: King Con Review
Here it is, ladies and gentlemen: The best album of 2012 (so far): King Con by Alex Winston.
From track one through 12, Alex Winston’s “King Con” is the blueprint for how to write an indie pop album. It’s the ideal image of American society: a melting pot. Except instead of throwing cultures and people in the melting pot, we’re throwing in music – done to perfection.
Every song boasts a diverse palette of instruments, which isn’t hard to do, but maintaining a musical center of balance is.
It’s not easy to make an ’80s-reggae-influenced track have the same feel as the folk-synth track that comes right after it. But Winston and her production team did a great job of tying everything together. It’s like a Tootsie Roll Pop. Each song might have a different flavor, but when you get to the center, it’s always the same thing.
Sound-wise, this album has something for every kind of indie-music lover. If you’re a fan of banjos, mandolins and acoustic guitars, it’s got the folk. If you like synthesizers, it’s definitely packing synth heat. Like world-music influence? Basically every vocal line is based off the “Asian” pentatonic scale (and a lot of the musical garnish is, too.)
But if you don’t like Winston’s voice, you’re S.O.L. It’s everywhere on this album. And that’s fine with us because we love it. Her voice is the tie that binds it all together and makes this music stick. Her vocal melodies are almost always exactly what the song needs.
Below, we’ve got a couple tunes from the album. The first, “Velvet Elvis,” is taken from her official SoundCloud page and was released as part of the Velvet Elvis EP last year. Her label Heavy Roc Music provides us the other track, “Locomotive.” Both are great and do a fantastic job of painting a picture of the album’s sound.
The album has not been released in the U.S. (it’s due to drop in the States April 10) but has been released in the UK and on Spotify.
Fresh Wet Paint’s Grade: A
Our ears couldn’t repel music of this magnitude.