Artist of the week: Alex Cameron
In an era defined by social media rush and streaming haste, Alex Cameron’s Jumping The Shark does its best to swim upstream to the troubling landscapes in which high-concept and troublesome singer-songwriters (think Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen) used to make its listeners listen with care, patience and devotion. Though his debut solo album definitely reach its audience this year thanks to the wider release by Secretly Canadian, the truth is that it’s been around since 2013 via a free download on a retro-looking website before being picked up by Siberia Records the following year. Since then, an intense touring as a opening act for artists such as Mac DeMarco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Foxygen definitely raised the profile of the Australian composer that used to be an almost anonymous member of the electronic pop trio Seekae.
Jumping The Shark has, nevertheless, a feature that is directly in tune our Zeitgeist: it’s meta. Sometimes hilariously meta, others poignantly so. His storytelling is sharp but twisted, his musicianship effortless but sketchy, his compositions uplifting but minimal, his characters idiosyncratic but existentially connected. The conjugation of his baritone voice with elementary synth programming not only suits perfectly his dramatic irony but his elusive gift for melody: one only needs to listen to his 8 song / 32 minutes record once to start humming it effortlessly. Odds are his next record will even better, but this one is aging like the best of wines: in the dark and without much publicity. Time to drink it.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.