Rex Orange County - Apricot Princess
Rex Orange County
Rex Orange County might not be a name you know yet, but if you've had your ear to the ground you've likely heard some of his music. Rex has collaborated with Frank Ocean even being included in Frank's touring band. His dreamy brand of 70s focused soul is so refreshing in it's paying homage without ever pandering in the slightest. Bright piano and his straight up vocals give the record this absolutely warm feeling almost like these tunes have been with us forever. Where He differs from Frank Ocean is instead of pushing soul and R&B into the future Rex Orange COunty holds tigther to the traditions of the genre. On "Untitled" he even employs the ol' whistle while you strum a guitar technique which may be old but god damn did is still play. His music feels gentle and heartfelt but still has a great deal of weight to it. Rex Orange County really took a step forward when He was featured on Tyler the Creator's Flower Boy with Tyler trying to currate a new sound for himself that was totally different than anything He had done before. Rex is perfect for this because his work is really genreless and his lyric writing is so distinct. On "4 Seasons" he talks about being awkward and hitting his head on things while also expressing his love for someone. It should be clunky, it should feel odd when He shifts into a more hip hop stance but it never does, His likability is so forceful that you can't help but smile when listening to these tunes.
Apricot Princess is so emotionally diverse and rich that each new songs brings some kind of surprise that you never could have expected. This album is about falling in love and the specifics of it rather than being in love. It is that exciting energy at the start of something new, and that sense permeates the entire record. Rex Orange County's guitar skills here are also fantastic using the instrument in this super soulful way that you only really hear on old Motwon stuff. Even when the pace and the distortion pick up instead of sounding like The Strokes on "Never Enough" it sounds almost like a rockabilly groove. There is so much color and so much to love about this album and it really just soars along at this relentlessly bright pace. Apricot Princess is an absolute delight from start to finish and proof that you can still employ rock sounds and rock instruments and make something great. Watch out for Rex Orange County because He may just be the next big thing.
8.8 out of 10