2016 has turned out to be a wretched and cruel year within music so far, with the sudden and shocking passings of various icons, such as David Bowie, Prince and now Alan Vega. In a year that’s proved to be one full of sorrow, it’s a welcome change for us all to remind ourselves that it’s just the start for many; to take our eyes of the finish line and instead avert our gaze to the start of a budding artists’ career.
Alex Cameron isn’t necesarrily a “newbie” to the game. He’s been a part of electronic-based group Seekae since 2006, and 2014 saw him unofficialy self-release this album, Jumping the Shark, two years before now. This year though sees him release this debut album officially through Secretly Canadian.
Full of pulsating, robust drum-machine rythyms and undulating synth lines, the comparisons to groups such as Suicide, or Fad Gadget, aren’t without reason. ‘Well who the hell are you to tell me that I can’t leave my kid in the car?’ sings Cameron in a deadpan-delivery on “Real Bad Lookin'”. The sharp-eyed and often humurous subject matter behind the songs becomes the album’s strongest attribute. Alex Cameron’s lyrics observe and lampoon the many oddities of human behaviour through his cocktail-lounge vocal delivery. It’s an album full of titillating storytelling, and with repeated listens you can’t help but stumble across a new favourite line.
The song structures themsleves are by no means a weak complement to the lyrics, with the murky synths on “Take Care of Business” constructing a feeling of fufillment at the end of the record without the help of the lyrics. There’s one slight problem the album inherits, a niggle that nests itself in the album like a bird in the attic, and that’s the sometimes monotonous presence of the drum manchines and synths, which can become a little overbearing at times, with the overall dynamic variety of the album suffering because of this. It’s only a slight hinderence to the listening experience, and with time, I don’t doubt for an instant that Alex Cameron will improve and bolster his songwriting craft, whilst succesfully brushing up his sonic palette in the promising years ahead for him.
With his debut album, Alex Cameon has succesfully jumped the shark and landed in the district of our attention, and we’re intigued to find out what he does next.