Release Date: Feb 17, 2017
Record label: True Panther Sounds
Genre(s): Rap, R&B, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative Rap, Alternative R&B, Chillwave
A sunbaked suburbia where one day bleeds into the next is no place for an artist as vibrant as London O'Connor, but fortunately, he transforms the boredom of growing up in San Marcos, California into O∆ (pronounced "circle triangle"), his freewheeling, heartfelt debut. Capturing a day in his life before he escaped to study music at NYU, O'Connor originally self-released the album in 2015 (True Panther reissued it two years later), and the way he breezily blurs the boundaries between chillwave, R&B, and rap feels just as independent. There's a joy to his music even when he's declaring his hatred for someone on the brash single "Guts," or depicting suburban life at its most stagnant: "Oatmeal" is a dreamy, slo-mo portrait of his uncle that serves as a cautionary tale about living life on a loop, while the endearingly groggy "Natural" sounds like O'Connor waking up to the dullness surrounding him.
O∆, London O'Connor's debut, is the kind of frustrated, suburbia-is-hell rebel yell that has typical been reserved for sanctimonious (and largely white) indie bands over the past decade or so. O'Connor, who hails from the San Diego suburb of San Marcos, draws on some of those predecessors for inspiration but also updates both the sound and substance for the Internet age as well as his diverse, unique skill set. Originally released back in 2015, this re-mastered version maintains that intimacy and DIY spirit while adding more depth to the sonic landscape.
NYC-via-San Diego producer London O'Connor is not your typical anything. He both raps and sings over his own wonky production, but it's difficult to cast him into any particular mould. O'Connor's debut album, O∆, originally saw a Soundcloud release back in 2015, but in his eyes, it was still unfinished. So when he signed with True Panther Sounds, he felt it necessary to fix those imperfections by hiring esteemed mastering wizard Vlado Meller (Channel Orange, Yeezus) and give it a re-release. Though it isn't the kind of album that shows off a professional remastering job -- it still flaunts a raw and DIY sheen over every inch of the album -- O∆ definitely merits a wider audience.
London O'Connor is 24 years old, but outside of that basic fact, seems very much a teenager. He's successfully avoided accumulating even the basic trappings of adulthood--the only things he seems to own are a skateboard, a backpack full of clothes, and some portable gear, and he exists in sort of a perpetual cruise around New York City, crashing on the couches of friends in between peregrinations. His Tumblr posts and interviews so far have had a slumber-partyish confessional quality, and he's quick to bring up the fact that he didn't lose his virginity until just before his 21st birthday.