Rex Orange County, a 21-year-old singer from Hampshire, England, is known for expressing deeper emotions through his melancholy music and abstract lyrics.
Rex, whose real name is Alex O’Connor, was first widely known for his singles “Best Friend” and “Loving is Easy” in 2017. He created a new wave of indie-pop music and according to Idol Wiki, has grown significantly popular and was even featured at the 2018 Coachella music festival.
His newly released album, “Pony”, became available in October and sticks with his theme of deep lyrics paired with intricate music structure.
Through this third full album, Rex shows the ups and downs of relationships and also his own struggles with fame and publicity, somehow making it relatable to his fans who haven’t experienced it themselves, but relate to his feelings.
Rex also continues another trend of his in that the music does not always reflect the emotion of the words he sings. The song “Face to face” has peaceful, calming and intricate harmonies, but the words reflect a much different picture with lyrics such as “as I want out” and an opening depiction of a panic attack.
This album speaks sincerity in an industry often looked at through rose-colored glasses, showing the stresses of a relationship as well as the pressure of fame.
“Pony” is different from his previous album “Apricot Princess,” his second album released in 2017, in that it also incorporates hope, telling of an up after a down and that life will get better.
The album is currently No. 2 on Apple Music in Australia and New Zealand and No. 5 in the United Kingdom. Rex expressed his gratitude toward fans on his Instagram saying, “Thank you for making me feel so loved in a time where I have really struggled to enjoy life.” He spoke of his own love of the album and said, “This album will change my life.”
Fans have reacted on YouTube, many brought to tears by the sincerity of the music depicting Rex’s struggles over the years as he grew in popularity.
Each song is sung in a simple way that doesn’t distract from the words. No flashy runs or octave jumps, just simple singing about struggles to which many can relate. In previous songs, Rex speaks of loneliness and self-doubt, but in this album, he seems to be growing to understand his emotions better and is coming to terms with them through the music.
Rex speaks honestly for a young artist and speaks in a relatable way to his audience, which consists mainly of teens and young adults. The song “Pluto Projector” currently has over 4.5 million streams on Spotify and “10/10” has over 10 million streams along with over 1 million views on YouTube.
Rex produces his own music to create something he really loves and that represents what he wants without dilution. He puts his heart and soul into his music, giving reason to the increase of his popularity.
According to his website rexorangcounty.com , the tour for the album is completely sold out in all six locations from Birmingham, England, to Phoenix, Arizona. This shows that his music is not only something fans want to listen to on their drive to school or work, but something they want to experience in person.
This album in particular shows Rex’s talent and ability to touch his audience without losing his identity in the process. He bridges the gap between struggling with relationships and stress with the knowledge that it will get better and helps his audience understand that through his music.
From candid titles to the contrast of the instrumental backgrounds, Rex the Orange County has devoted much time and effort into his music, guaranteeing a good response from audiences.