Cut Through The Noise: Rex Orange County, Set It Off, Orion Sun


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Anya Panday

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.


Rex Orange County — ‘7AM’ ★★★☆☆

Photo Credit: Sony Music

You either love Rex Orange County, or you hate it, and I typically identify with the latter. Rex’s new album “Who cares?” includes a wide expanse of fun and experimental songs. “7AM,” however, felt flat in comparison to the rest of Rex’s repertoire. The beat wasn’t bad, but it felt recycled and overused. The song outlines a familiar feeling: feeling like you’re messing up, no matter what you do. Portraying conflicting emotions, like wanting to be better but feeling like you’ve already failed, Rex set up a perfect premise that left me hoping for a mentally engaging song. But, the song feels unvaried, and his voice maintains a monotone feeling throughout the 3 minute and 20 second track. The lyrics have potential, with the ability to take feelings that a broad audience has experienced alone, and make them feel known. This song left me craving more experimentalism and variation within Rex’s lyrics and tone, and I wished for less repetition in his lyrics — and more fresh writing instead.

Set It Off — ‘Why Do I?’ ★★☆☆☆

Fair use from Fearless Records

Set It Off’s new EP “Elsewhere” is a sharp contrast from the band’s old rock sound. Like many early 2000s bands, Set It Off has made the switch from rock to ‘emo pop,’ and I can’t say I’m a fan. Their new song “Why Do I?” sounds like a pop song you’d hear in 2015, and feels outdated and lacking in terms of beat and tone. The song describes the feeling of missing an ex, and questioning feelings that may arise. Despite the rather sad tone of the lyrics, the vocals are upbeat and bubbly, but not in the way that makes you want to dance. While some artists can utilize this juxtaposition well, Set It Off’s use of tone felt inappropriate and disappointing. Overall, the song felt conflicted about which direction it was meant to take, with poor execution.

Orion Sun — ‘Pressure’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Mom+Pop

From its new EP “Getaway”, the song “Pressure” offers a relaxing indie song about relationships and love. The song has beautiful lyricism, with variations in the words and tone that keep the song fresh and engaging. Orion Sun utilizes repetition to emphasize feelings and thoughts, without repeating entire chunks of the song, leaving room for a satisfying amount of content in a short time. The repetition in notes and sound also draws connections between thoughts and feelings, and allows certain phrases to stand out by breaking patterns of similar notes vocally within a section. The tone and music of the song is relaxing, offering a nostalgic tone to a song that’s all about looking back. I wish there was more variation in the backing music to the song, but its monotone feel gives space for the vocals to be heard and felt deeply. Overall, this song is an enjoyable experience, and one to add to any late summer night playlist.