Alex Winston - Sister Wife (Heavy Roc)

Sour sweets for the ears.

Released Mar 14th, 2011 via Heavy Roc / By Clementine Lloyd
Alex Winston - Sister Wife (Heavy Roc) Musicians love a good old sing song about ghosts, albums across the decades are littered with haunting references and specters of love, hate, evil, just about every form they take on. Alex Winston has certainly thrown in a few references in her mini-album, though these may be some of the sunniest ghostly encounters ever known. Strewn with sunshine and sweetness, darkness seeps in at the corners, before being banished to hide once more inside your eyelids and under your fingernails.

‘Don’t Care About Anything’, arguably the most somber number Winston displays, aches with yearning to rise from a stupor, begging, “Kick me, hit me, shake me, scare my ghost”, ending on a uniquely bleak Violin solo born upon the open acoustics. Hitting back in ‘Choice Notes’, making up for lost pace by playing double-time, vivid keys frame the slamming base and higher pitched vocals that sets up a stellar catchy crowd pleaser, placing you right at the centre of a forgotten dancehall. Lyrics “I’m on the floor, I shake it for your holy ghost” proffer music and movement as a religion in this case. It damn well is, you know.

‘Sister Wife’ strengthens Winston’s waif-like meanderings with a brittle beat both smart and all encompassing. Sexy and stealth, riffing off the softly delivered warning “one wrong move and yeah we’re through”, you can hear her smiling slyly throughout. The odd motif seems to speak of polygamy, “I’m stuck with two, I’m stuck with you” sung sweetly during the bridging almost-silence, bolstering her resolve to stick it out. Strong-minded to the last, miss Alex flips the first flushes of a lust/love encounter in ‘Locomotive’, drawling words “I wish I cared about the things you cared about, but I don’t…. keep going keep going, don’t focus.” Smashing that illusion of perfection in another. Starting with a twisting synth, almost sci-fi quality, before busting out strong rhythmic bass, before ebbing into strummed acoustic chords aptly approaches the burst of lust that is felt, arriving at the dawning disinterest for the bed you’ve made with the wrong one.

Shunning the darkness with a bat of the eyelashes, ‘Sweet James’ drips with that candy-coated brand of sunshine pop that is somewhat lacking in many Detroit born artists. Feeding into ‘Choice Notes’ with its similar melody, though taking the beats per bar down a notch, it is a pretty joyous affair, without a hint of irony. This is short lived, as ‘Fingers And Toes’ finds us back in a hall of Swing, Winston’s subtle tones and breathy delivery choreographed with the slick keys and big-band style backing. “study how she moves, straight into my twisted temptation… god made me a monster. Without an intention to get caught” are perhaps the darkest lyrics to grace the record, before being cast aside for less openly frank tremors of “such anticipation… with a smile you’ll not suspect, don’t make me upset”. With several masks slipping and being replaced throughout, it is a grand ender indeed, with a theatrical quality that resonates throughout. So reach for the play button and lose yourself once more.