Scouting Report: Alt-Pop Singer Alex Winston

Alex Winston's debut album "King Con," released by Island Records in early 2012, was the kind of quirky alt-pop set of songs that can sometimes confound a major label's marketing department or get lost in the shuffle as executives switch chairs. Still, catchy songs like the calypso-tinged "Velvet Elvis" and haunting "Fire Ant" developed a following, allowing her to tour Europe and the East Coast even after she left Island this year. But if stark new single "101 Vultures" is any indication, New York-based Winston will be taking a darker turn on her next outing. "Why'd you go and leave me to the vultures? It got so heavy," she sings in a quivering, Kate Bush-like croon. "I had a really crazy year-and-a-half," the 26-year-old says, "and it would be foolish of me not to draw from that. The first record was me being more voyeuristic of other people, but this will definitely be more personal." Winston is reteaming with producer Charlie Hugall and collaborating with former Editors guitarist Chris Urbanowicz for the album, due in spring 2014. But whether she works with a major again is a decision her manager Asif Ahmed has helped previous clients like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio navigate. "Alex is in a liberating place," he says. "I just don't want her to become Vitamin C -- like, one hit for a major and then, 'Where the fuck did she go?'"