Loving Rex Orange County Is Easy But You'll Be Head Over Heels With 'Pony'

25 October 2019 | 11:58 am | The Music Team

With so much new music and so little time, we often find ourselves falling into the habit of listening to the same five songs over and over. But no longer because 'The Music' is here to help with our Album Of The Week. This week, we were smitten by Rex Orange County's latest LP, 'Pony'.

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Well British lad Alex O'Connor, aka Rex Orange County, certainly knows how to make a splash, right? We've barely begun digesting his latest long-player Pony and he's hit us with a run of headline tour dates around the country across May and June. Are we spoilt or what?! 

The 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Haslemere, Surrey, not California as you might have expected, welcomed a huge number of fans with 2017's Loving Is Easy. Pony sees his star on the up and up and we've got one thing to say: welcome to the OC bitch.  

What we're saying... 

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Review by Carley Hall. Read more here...

"For all the right reasons, Rex Orange County has made a name for himself, with his half-spoken, maniacal vocals clothed in post-genre neo-soul and indie-pop. Love him or disregard him, there is no denying there’s a definitive sound to Rex Orange County, aka British artist Alex O’Connor. Where his previous two albums packed a pop and sometimes surf-rock punch, it wasn’t until his follow-up standalone single Loving Is Easy dropped that the edgy neuroticism noticeably crept in – and that’s what resonated so well with listeners. 

Thankfully his latest album Pony, featuring buoyant melodies, crisp synths and fuzzy guitars, indulges in the sharp truths and beguiling rays of idealism that make for a truly endearing listen. The music contrasts the lyrical content, from opener 10/10’s triumph over adversity to the admissions of Never Had The Balls. It’s only really when the curtains close with It’s Not The Same Anymore that Rex Orange County allows the music to mirror the message. 

Musically, Pony is a straightforward listen that doesn’t bother with technical complexities. Instead O'Connor pulls us into his head with highly engaging and relatable lyrics."

What they're saying...
Here's what O'Connor told Carley Hall ahead of Pony's release. 

On the popularity of Loving Is Easy

“If I’m honest, I think it's probably because there’s really only two sections in it – it doesn’t stay for long, it’s two-and-a-half minutes long. I think it’s also because Benny Sings wrote it with me and he’s great at writing pop songs, he has very good intentions with lyrics and structures. Even though him and I made it together, it definitely wouldn’t be the same without him.”

On his influences 

“There was definitely a lot of theatrical music around me and I was kind of doing musical theatre, but my parents listened to a lot of ABBA and Queen and put me onto a lot of pop music. 

"I eventually found out who Kanye West was, and I loved Green Day and stuff I just hadn’t heard before when I was young – different kinds of rap and rock. These were things I was excited about at a young age. I think some of the stuff that I write stems from what I truly loved from those songs and bands that I originally listened to; I think that’s still in what I do now.” 

On loving the spotlight

“I do love it, I really do enjoy it the most out of each of the things that I do that are to do with my music. I find it the most satisfying and fulfilling. I don’t know what it is, but from the start, before I even wrote songs, I just enjoyed being on stage – even if I wasn’t at the front. It was just something I always loved the feeling of. Really, it could just be some strange need for affirmation or attention, but it is just the one thing I’ve always loved.

On finding his tribe

“It probably happens to everyone naturally with doing this sort of creating. After a while, you realise it’s very difficult to find people to work with who 100 percent understand and are on the same page as you. And it takes time to figure that out and who those people are. 

"I think you have to go do things to realise what you don’t want. And I had a lot of that in terms of ‘the industry’; there’s no point in me directly going into it, but I would absolutely say that I have been and that’s what a lot of this album is about. But I think it happens for a lot of people and it’s natural. It’s not a bad thing, you learn a lot from it and it’s valuable to have bad experiences."

Read the full interview here and listen to the album below.

But wait!

That's not all. There's a whole heap of new music out in the world today from Cigarettes After Sex to King Princesshead here for the list of this week's releases

Missed the last Album Of The Week? Find out why we loved Japanese Wallpaper's debut album Glow.