Alex Winston On The Joy Of Being Uninhibited
We have been addicted to Alex Winton‘s sugary pop voice since we first got a taste back in 2011 with “Choice Notes”. Her latest record doesn’t hide behind fantastical stories, this time it’s personal. We caught up for a playdate in Bushwick and Alex dished about her love for Kate Bush, her latest heartbreak and not giving a you-know-what about what other people think.
We are so pumped about the new record – tell us what’s at the heart of this album.
It’s really different than my first record. My first record was totally conceptual and was about other people completely. I wasn’t inspired by my life at the time and I love stories and meeting people and hearing their stories. It was voyeuristic and bit more fantastical. This time everything is about me. There are heartbreak songs I said I would never write. I’m going back on a lot of things I said I wouldn’t do. I experienced so much from the first album ’till now so I was like, I have to write about this. It’s going to be really weird to release this stuff.
What are some of the more personal topics on the record?
Depression is a big thing. That’s something I dealt with for quite a while. It took me a really long time to want to write again. I had a huge writer’s bloc for almost year after the record. It was also a really transitional year for me: my personal life, relationships, moving on. It was a lot in a short period of time, which is great, but at the time it was the f***ing worst. It was so inspirational. I’m kind of coining this record as my coming of age a few years too late.
What’s the best song to get you through heartbreak?
Wendy Rene “After Laughter”. It’s the most beautiful song. She was signed to Stax and was an incredible soul singer. The line is, “after laughter comes tears.”
Were you a Britney or Christina girl?
I wasn’t and I feel like a dick saying that. I don’t know if this makes it any better or worse but I was a huge Lenny Kravitz fan. Maybe we leave that out…
He’s still got it. What else were you listening to instead of Britney?
Early on I listened to whatever my parents had on, Beach Boys or Motown stuff. Then I listened to what my brother was playing, which was a little cooler, like Joy Division. I really like early rock n’ roll like Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Who would you recruit for your supergroup?
I would say Chuck Berry but he’s just too difficult. I would get weird with it. I would get Screaming Jay Hawkins, Tiny Tim and maybe like Kate Bush. Our voices would just be f***ing weird together.
Kate Bush is a goddess. What’s your favorite Kate Bush song?
“Cloudbusting” but it changes all the time. I like “Suspended in Gaffa” and “Army Dreamers”. I like all of her music.
What’s one thing that makes you feel sexy and confident?
Being on stage. That’s when I feel most empowered and I think that’s why I keep doing that. I feel like I’m a very different person onstage that I am in real life. It’s almost like this weird other world. It’s so uninhibited. I don’t even care if I look like I’m an asshole. It’s just a really true expression of being happy.
I feel like that message really comes through in your new song, “Careless”. What would you not be afraid to do if you were completely careless?
I would try not to be afraid of opening my heart to people. That sounds super cheesy but these days everyone is so worried about being hurt and exposing themselves and hiding behind what we want people to think of us when we go on social media…just having the courage to be yourself and not give a f***. It’s not about other people and how they view you but about finding joy for yourself and learning to let go. I mean it’s also about sex…but I mean it’s also about being depressed and wanting to feel something. It’s a huge thing for me to get out my head and say I just want to have fun.
Interview & Photos by Shannon Kurlander