Whereas most singer-songwriters choose human relationships or perhaps the state of the world as their subject matter, Alex Winston's Velvet Elvis is apparently about just what the title suggests...her love for a plush Elvis toy. I guess it beats songs about 'getting on the floor' of which there are several billion. Mainstream chart hits are ripe with bullies trying to peer pressure people to dance who don't want to, whereas Winston's classically trained operatic vocals and kooky charm brings something refreshing to the pop world. It sounds like a pretty pretentious thing to write a song about, but as Winston puts it herself it the bouncy chorus 'You can't breathe, so you can't leave'. Who wouldn't want something to love that is incapable of walking out?
This track gets the infectious catchiness levels spot on; it'll get stuck in your head but the urge to scrub your brain with soap and water isn't present. The track builds up to an elated repetition of 'they're coming and coming and coming' - it's amazing how something so simple can be so feel-good. The brass instrumentation explodes into euphoria and is a prime example of why Winston's musical abilities don't halt at her super-controlled vocals.
The EP also includes one more track, the foot-stomping Arcade Fire/Decemberist mish-mash Fire Ant and King Charles' Remix of the title track. Not the real King Charles, as much as I'd love to hear that. But this remix suffices nicely, a gentle remix with not much added nor taken away, just shuffled about a bit and marginally more dancey. Alex Winston's Velvet Elvis album comes out September 12th and is well worth a listen if this and the Sister Wife EP (made popular by the excellent Star Slinger remix of the track of the same name) are anything to go by. A breath of fresh air in the often facepalming world of pop.