Rex Orange County — a.k.a. U.K.-born DIY musician Alex O'Connor — spins familiar R&B and lo-fi material into earnest, golden soft-rock for a new generation that's just as lovelorn as the past. It's no wonder that, in his brief career, he's managed to link up with Tyler, the Creator and Randy Newman — both of whom he counts as his heroes.
"New House," the latest single from O'Connor, is a plea for commitment and domesticity, adding some tension to the uncomplicated love that he sang about on his 2017 breakthrough track, "Loving is Easy." He has a knack for the sticky-sweet, and it shows in "New House," replete with a weepy string section, horn blasts and harmonies all hoisted over a piano-and-guitar arrangement reminiscent of Newman's sweetest works.
O'Connor never veers into saccharine territory on "New House" because his sentiment is so plainspoken and true. Even as he lays bare his exhaustion and sadness — "I do my best, but I am rarely a regular guy," as he puts it — he's not making grand decrees of adoration or fealty to his partner.
"I can see us in a house next year," sighs O'Connor, the sort of casual, movin'-in-together devotion that still feels particularly quaint, even though millennials are moving in together at a higher rate than their counterparts a generation or two prior. "You'll be making your mind / You can figure out what goes where."