When Alex Cameron debuted with Jumping the Shark, the characters he embodied radiated a woozy combination of virility and Viagra, airing out dance moves that seemed to say “come to daddy” and thus “get far away while you have the chance.”
The 20-something musician sang, with perfect poetic seediness, from the perspective of hypermasculine middle-aged men having a rough time of life and acting out in an unsettling parade of self-inflation.
“I’m still the king of this town,” croaked his just-laid-off businessman character on “Happy Ending,” over melancholy synths that didn’t quite corroborate his claim.
On Forced Witness, his first new full-length on Secretly Canadian, following the Jumping the Shark re-release, the men of his songs peacocked all the more desperately as they sang of “chasing pussy on the internet” in Springsteen-ian anthems, beneath whose grandeur was a deep, insurmountable loneliness. His newest and most musically expansive LP, the glistening Miami Memory, takes a surprising turn.
Cameron’s flair for narrative and character are still on full display; yet Miami Memory’s most frequent narrator is, for the first time, Cameron himself—singing with stunning candor of his three-year relationship.
No longer playing the roles of, say, an obsolete TV personality or a late career-Brando-revering homophobe or any number of men groping for affection in the abysses of their own making, this new narrator we can safely call Alex Cameron is deep in (requited) love.