Shameless provocation is the name of the game for Alex Cameron, or better yet, the high-concept persona Alex Cameron plays. To put it simply, the Australian musician is a scumbag, and a damn good one at that. Cameron, going by his own name, plays a failed musician caught up in his own self doubt and internet conquests. Sounding like a low-budget cross between Bruce Springsteen and Brandon Flowers, Cameron makes songs about hopelessness and failure sound downright enjoyable.
What separates Cameron however, from falling into a category of parody musicians, is his songwriting—which is as clever as it is questionable. On his acclaimed sophomore album, Forced Witness, Cameron goes from singing about “ripping the sweatpants off a single mother,” on “Stranger’s Kiss” to the worst part of homelessness being, “waking up from a dirty wet dream, with a lap full of cum and a head full of steam” on “Country Figs.” He plays the type of person who lacks the self-awareness to be a villain, and hell, in the desperate reality he sings about, it is hard not to root for him. Talking about his adopted persona, Cameron notes, “I write about the outlier, the table-for-one guy, the guy whose life is a constellation of microscopic tragedies. Failure has been underexplored in music. My characters come from a place where ambition, crippling self-doubt and tragedy intersect.”
However daunting the task of exploring failure as a theme may be, it is proving to be a success for Cameron. Having initially captured the attention of indie duo Foxygen, Cameron signed with Secretly Canadian, the label home of indie-rock favorites like Whitney and The War On Drugs. Likewise, Cameron hit it off with Brandon Flowers of The Killers and ended up co-writing a couple songs on The Killers latest album Wonderful Wonderful and Flowers returned the favor by contributing to Forced Witness. People may also recognize Cameron from Killian J. Callinan’s viral video for his song “Big Enough” which features Jimmy Barnes screaming in the sky while Cameron and Callinan play cowboys—literally wondering if their town is big enough for the both of them. It’s outrageous and unorthodox, but so is Cameron himself.
There may not be a better place to see Cameron than Globe Hall — being one of Denver’s dive-ier venues and one that aptly fits Cameron’s outsider persona. Accompanying Cameron on his Globe Hall stop will also be a full band of studio musicians and Cameron’s “business partner” and saxophonist Roy Malloy. Being based in Australia, who knows how often Cameron and the gang will make it to the Mile High City. But one thing is for sure—if you want a taste from the Down Under and Lorde headlining the Pepsi Center isn’t your scene, Alex Cameron at Globe Hall is the place to be.