In the past, rebellion came in the shape of thrashing guitars, throaty growls, pounding drums and repetitive synths – whilst your parents were out listening to pop, the people in-the-know were in basements raving. But club music has slowly become the new-norm, it’s no longer a sanctuary for the oddballs and forward thinkers.
So, now the new-gen are fighting back and creating the new alternative. Replacing aggression with placid mood-altering grooves that are more psychedelia than psycho, and that’s where Rex Orange County comes in. 19 year-old Alex O’Connor (from Surrey of all places) releases his first proper single since appearing on Tyler, The Creator‘s album. In many ways this work carries on where Flower Boy left off (as well as Rex’s own album, the excellent Apricot Princess).
Lush orchestration and live instrumentation immediately set the tone on Loving Is Easy, while Rex croons about how love has him “fucked up”. The song recalls the likes Burt Bacharach and Michael Jackson and it’s an interesting combination – teen angst juxtaposed against 70’s sickly-sweet sheen. With Loving Is Easy, Rex may have made a song that’s too sugary for the current pop charts, and we have no doubt that was his intention – after all, what’s cooler than being cool? Well… being chill.