Rex Orange County Pony album coverHow to change? How to remain vulnerable? How to look at our past selves with forgiveness, instead of wading into the swamp of cringe and horror which flattens present mood and squishes future hope?

Alex O’Connor explores all these questions in his masterfully self-deprecating third album of pop as Rex Orange County, letting sweet bedroom electronics, matter-of-fact piano, neat beats, suddenly cinematic strings, and versatile horns adorn his wandering mind-missives.

Across just one verse he can sound English, Australian or American, which – rather than coming across as phony – gives him an everyman aura that makes him more accessible than his more manic peers like Hobo Johnson. The pinnacle is Everyway – one of the most genuine love songs I’ve heard in ages. Arresting.

Pony by Rex Orange County is out October 25 via Sony.

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