Surrey-born Alex O’Connor’s lo-fi, scratchy guitar soul borrows elements, old and new, from Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean, Mac Demarco, Thundercat, King Krule, KAYTRANADA, and Toro y Moi, to name a few, while still holding its own character. At 19, Rex Orange County’s already made an astounding start in the industry, most recently collaborating with Tyler, The Creator on his critically-acclaimed 2017 Flower Boy album.
If I had to put into words what Alex’s music feels like, I’d say this: it’s the sound of the thoughts of that fresh, novel teen love racing through your teenage brain while as you stand in the corner of the house party, illegally drinking some piss-poor beer. The slightly upbeat rhythms of his songs are contrasted by his almost melancholic voice, leading to a unique sound that stands out in the ever-growing pool of mediocre post-pop artists of our current time.
I had the pleasure of seeing Rex open for BadBadNotGood back in November at the O2 Ritz. When purchasing my tickets, I was just as excited for him as I was of the main act, and Rex really delivered. He’s slightly awkward and a bit shy but those traits make him all the more charismatic and, ultimately, almost hypnotic with a special stage presence that few artists can achieve.
Due to high demand, the venue for his Manchester gig on the 24th of February has been upgraded from the Deaf Institute to Gorilla. This means that more tickets will be available on the door, and I highly recommend you go and see Rex perform live. 2018 will bring big things for him and by being at this show you’ll be able to say “I discovered Rex before he got big.”