Last week, after hinting at a new song on social media, Rex Orange County released a new single and music video, “10/10.” Although he is dropping all the hints characteristic of an album rollout circuit, what has surfaced in his music, and in the “10/10” video in particular, is a longing to settle down.
The “10/10” video is at once wacky and heartwarming. It brings to life the cozy energy of Rex’s previous single, “New House,” setting the stage in a warm and welcoming household. The pals sit around the TV playing video games, the homie smokes in the corner, the gang chills around the couch gossiping and cuddling and reading and chilling out while Rex does his thing on the keyboard. After putting his headphones on, a goofy series of events follow. Rex wanders to the kitchen to make a sandwich before opting to steal somebody else’s. A group of performers wearing yellow Spider-Man costumes burst into a K-pop-style dance number. An electrician fumbling in the corner makes the house lights flash in a pretty sequence while Rex jams on the guitar. It’s funny and bizarre, and the way the video is cut — made to look like one shot — adds to the surreal absurdity.
“10/10” is Rex at a crossroads of nostalgia and looking forward to the future, returning to making warm memories with the people he loves. The ambient noise of friends relaxing in the house is tuned out when he puts on the headphones and begins performing, much like the way becoming a music sensation makes it hard not to tune out the life you had before. His opening verse captures the heart of the video, singing “I had to think about my oldest friends / Now, I no longer hang with them / And I can’t wait to be home again.” When he finishes the song, he takes off the headphones and the comforting sound of the household returns. A sentiment of being uninspired has permeated Rex’s most recent songwriting, but that friendly chatter he misses is a welcome musical inspiration. It left me thinking about the old friends I need to call.