At its root, a suburban house is known as a residential accommodation. The undercurrents of a suburban house are plentiful, with connotations of what is a domicile and ordinary. Moreover, a suburban house is perhaps “what came before,” as in what came before fame, or what came before a big move to LA or NYC.

Rex Orange County interrogates this suburban space as an entity he wishes to recreate in his single “New House.” The homespun familiarity of picking out décor is the exact, genuine space of groundedness that he seemingly feels went missing since striking fame. The release of “New House,” and Rex’s subsequent tweet stating his gratefulness for his career, elaborates on his difficulty in achieving fame, and successively struggling to find a honesty to which he has a substantial connection to.  

By releasing “New House” on Valentine’s Day, Rex reminds us that love is not about dinner dates, but rather about recognizing the people in your life who build up a house around you and ground you. “New House” elaborates on an apparent lack of inspiration to impress, with lyrics like “Every time I try, it never feels the way it did at the start.” “New House” is Rex’s plea to strip to the basics, away from the nepotism and consistent hype of the music industry.

Rex himself has always served as a suburban house to his fans. He’s a staple of ordinary and attainable, but certainly not in a colorless manner. The authenticity of his simple striped tee and jeans at every performance, and his unpretentious themes of coming of age woes (self-deprecation, depression, youthful love) come naturally. “New House” yearns for a territory of authenticity — from which the suburban house cover art and symbolism is born.

Rex offers an intimate and important reminder for Valentine’s Day: The importance of facilitating and creating spaces where our loved ones feel grounded and real.

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