BY CORRIGAN SALERNO// Alex Cameron got his start like most lounge singers of the 21st century did: as a sleazy, high-concept, self-satirical act covered in facial prosthetics. Though he won’t be wearing as much makeup as he used to, DC is lucky enough to get a taste of the sleaze when Alex Cameron and his “business associate and live sax player” Roy Malloy come to town next weekend.
Known for both his outrageous lyrical storytelling and equally ridiculous live performances, Alex Cameron writes songs inspired by the worst that humanity has to offer. When he debuted in 2014 with Jumping the Shark, he donned the (often literal) mask of the sketchy lounge singer, crooning a deep baritone over electronic ballads that sounded comparable to both Matt Berninger and early Suicide. On tracks like “Happy Ending” and “The Comeback,” Cameron paints a portrait of down-on-their-luck men that are all at once pitiable, despicable, but most of all, pathetic. While touring for the album, Cameron performed wearing fake wrinkles to truly sell the failed entertainer aesthetic, of course.
In his 2017 followup, Forced Witness, Cameron returned without the wrinkles but with an expanded cast and production. With the help of Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, The Killer’s Brandon Flowers and a feature by Angel Olsen, Forced Witness impressed with bombastic, sax-laden 80s rock that sounds like Springsteen crossed with Phil Collins if they were both completely overcompensatingly macho jerks.
Now, expect Cameron to play songs from his new album, Miami Memory, and hear his brand of 80s ballads with a mix of newfound sincerity and classic provocation when he comes down to the 9:30 Club on Saturday, November 23rd. Be prepared to be introduced to the opener, Holiday Sidewinder, another rocking Australian on the rise for her infectious pop. Alex Cameron and his “business associate” Roy Malloy have set a high bar for live performances ever since their early days as fake lounge singers, so I’m prepared to be impressed, as you should too.