Rex Orange County
BBC Radio 1 StageSaturday5:35 pm
Fed up of school and at a loss, Alex O’Connor started Rex Orange County in the middle of his teens. At the time, this self-taught drummer was only just beginning to realise he could do more than just play sessions or bit-part band roles. In truth, he “wasn’t that into drums,” not enough to make it a life pursuit. So for the first time, he applied keys, vocals and anything he could find to loose-footed, fluid, personable songs about being bored and disillusioned. Self-produced debut bedroom album ‘bcos u will never b free’ became a blueprint for Rex’s sound, where jazz-nodding keys, sugar-soaked vocals and no-fucks-given lyricism share the same space in a dazzling combination.
Pendulum-swinging between loved-up verses and rap refrains, Rex’s music refuses to be pigeonholed. “You don’t have to be perfectionist about stuff,” he claims. “Nothing has to be perfect. Why take it so seriously when anyone in the fucking world can make music? Make it obvious you did it.” If there’s one thing that defines his early material, it’s a personal stamp O’Connor applies at every opportunity. This is his personality epitomised, spilled out in multicolour.