PREMIERE: Alex Cameron Croons “Mongrel” for Pickathon’s Slab Sessions

The absurdist Aussie and his trusted saxophonist strip down a track off Cameron's debut.

Alex Cameron has been favorably compared to Nick Cave in baritone and David Lynch in attitude. His is a boldly bizarre lounge act we’ve previously profiled, and his second album Forced Witness came in at number two on our 2017 Best Of list. He’s also made some waves by making a few music videos with actress Jemima Kirke (back in April, they released one for “Studmuffin96”—and before that there was “Stranger’s Kiss,” a cinematic love story in which Kirke attempts to dress and dance exactly like Cameron, and finally wins him over by virtue of the imitation).

Filmed during Slab Sessions last August at Pickathon, this low-key outdoor performance features the mysterious showman singing “Mongrel,” a song off his 2014 solo debut Jumping the Shark, with signature intensity. As the greenery of Oregon’s Pendarvis Farm glows behind them, Cameron strums a gentle guitar and the hypnotic sax of his “business partner”/frequent show companion Roy Molloy slithers in and out. Jumping the Shark, a synth-pop record laced with satire, is full of invented character narrations—a businessman, a drunk, and a TV has-been populate the respective songs, plus plenty of others—but the enigmatic “Mongrel” is the only track that doesn’t seem to totally adhere to the first-person rule. Perhaps it’s the one truest to Cameron’s own perspective. 

As always, this episode of the Slab Sessions was produced by the excellent folks at Half Stop Sessions.

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