Alex Cameron is a weird dude. Like honest to God a weird dude. I love it. Born and raised in Sydney, this Australian concept singer has a way of taking tragic comedy and blending it together with electronic pop backings and making it work. Of course, not all of his songs are tragically comedic- some are just plain sad. Some you wouldn’t really think there is an underlying theme. I heard one of my personal favorites, “Runnin’ Out of Luck” in an Urban Outfitters the other day. Perfectly fine pop song with an 80’s vibe if you aren’t paying attention to the lyrics stating his comrade is a stripper out of luck and his knuckles are bloody because of the money in the trunk. Safe to say around 80% of that specific Urban population was probably not paying attention- so no harm no foul. But if you dig deeper, you can see that Cameron takes on the persona of a man who has failed. Maybe not failed in the sense of grandeur that we expect when we talk about art. This man he performs as is full of small failures and how he copes with the life he’s built. But his song “True Lies” is funny as hell so that’s where it is kind of tragic but also not.
Cameron has two albums out, Jumping the Shark and Forced Witness. Jumping the Shark was released by Cameron himself for free on his website in 2013. After gaining some exposure Cameron signed with the label Secretly Canadian, who re-released the album in 2016. Jumping the Shark relies heavily on electro-pop beats and synths, obscure sound effects and Cameron’s vocals to bring it together. It’s an eclectic group of songs that will make you feel weird and happy and wonder about stuff.
While all of this was happening, Cameron had found a friend in The Killers front man, Brandon Flowers. When I saw The Killers in here Boston back in January, Alex Cameron actually opened for them. I didn’t know who he was at the time and am kicking myself for not paying closer attention while I was watching him. He ended up with writing credits on five of The Killers’ latest album, Wonderful, Wonderful. Flowers also appears on Cameron’s latest project Forced Witness in the track, “Politics of Love.”
Forced Witness takes a departure from Jumping the Shark both conceptually and musically. While still being similar, this latest album ventures away from just electro-pop and utilizes a full backing band. Most prominent is the addition of Roy Moore, the sax player on the album and Cameron’s business partner. Hints of futuristic sound while still having an underlying 80’s vibe make for a unique sound that’s easy to get into. Cameron still takes on personas as outsiders and underdogs in this album which makes the lyrics that much more enjoyable- and something almost anyone can relate to at some point. He also genuinely makes me laugh out loud at my desk at work with his tweets. Like I said, weird dude. I love it.
Here’s his Forced Witness album on Spotify cus it’s my fav and a good intro to his level of odd. Lmk what you think.