By Victoria Roxanne Hill
Artist: Rex Orange County
Album: Apricot Princess
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Music Label: Rex Orange County
April 26, 2018 marks the one year release anniversary of Rex Orange County’s second album, Apricot Princess. The talented 19-year-old indie sad boy released Bcos U Will Never B Free, his first solo album, in 2015. He has since been featured on Tyler, the Creator’s latest album Flower Boy.
The intro title track, “Apricot Princess,” is vaguely reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s style of music. It is a soothing intro incorporating chimes and a rumble of a gong. The la la las at the beginning of “My Cherie Amour” would fit perfectly in there. The title track around 1:50 then changes the pace. Around 2:50 it gets even more playful and begins to sound a bit like “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.”
He starts off strong, creating the sad-boy image for himself in just the second song, “Television/So Far So Good.” Toward the end of the song he sings “if I could just be happy by the end of this song” out of nowhere, taking a perfectly decent happy tune, and turning it depressing within two seconds.
My personal favorite off the album is track six, “4 Seasons.” This song embodies Rex’s style perfectly. The beginning of the song makes you think it will be just another sad song, but at 1:39 the song melts into a more rugged feel. His lyrics focus on how he found himself in unhealthy relationships and how a lover helped him cope with social anxiety. I’ll often find songs on albums that I love, but wish were longer. “4 Seasons” is the longest track off the album so it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite of mine. Similar to the title it feels like there are four strong sections, or seasons, of this song. It allows the listener to travel smoothly through his personal journey.
In his song “Waiting Room” he paints a picture of how it feels being around family that tend to put you on edge. Later on in the song, he begins talking about other things that wander around in his mind. The family reunion referred to at the beginning could be compared to a reunion of discomfort. When sitting in waiting rooms for doctors, there’s a feeling of being on edge that can be compared to the way that he feels about his family.
“Happiness” is the cherry on top of this apricot. The lyrics are familiar to anyone who has heard The Beatles “When I’m 64,” especially when he says “when I turn 81 and forget things will you still be proud?” This man who is a “walking emotion” can send you deep into your feels instantly. The album may be turning one, but I think this is an anniversary that I will remember for years.