London O’Connor’s debut album O∆ merges the confusing brink of adulthood and ‘suburban survival’ with infectiously joyful synths and mid-tempo beats.
All produced, written and performed by O’Connor himself, the album details the modern suburban lifestyle he grew up in as a wanderer, sleeping on friends’ couches across New York.
First cab off the ranks is ‘Oatmeal’ which is far from bland with a colourful synth reminiscent of a video game brightly chiming in at the chorus. O’Connor’s lyrics reflect on the ever-consuming TV screen taking away all of our productivity and potential, “This crusty-ass n*gga on the couch again / He don’t do nothing but watch the TV.”
Far from being natural, the second track ‘Natural’ is about O’Connor longing for something ‘real’ as he sings with a yearning desire “I gotta make it out/ I gotta make it out”. Alongside his rather desperate lyrics to break away from this consumerist built world is simple instrumental which is a little bland at times but catchy perhaps appropriately reflecting the grey, artificial lifestyle he grew up in.
With lyrics that are hard to forget alongside a sound reminiscent of sweet slow dance song, ‘Nobody Hangs out Anymore’ is a melancholy ode to society’s infatuation for technology and compulsion to stare at screens. The accompanying self-directed video shows O’Connor and his apparent friends blankly staring into space singing along like zombies capturing how technology has drained our emotions and human connections.
The head-banger track on the album is ‘Guts’, an unapologetic anthem that gets straight to the point. Featuring a bold drum with a sharp intensifying synth escalating as O’Connor profusely sings “I hate your guts” instantly making you want to sing along to on a bad day.
So what makes this album tick, personally, is the vibrancy of O’Connor’s sound and his simple yet thoughtful lyrics exposing not just his own vulnerability and insecurities but arguably society’s too, making each song so relatable.
Watch the aesthetically pleasing ‘Nobody Hangs out Anymore‘ video below.