King Princess was one of the biggest breakthrough artists of 2018 after the emotionally charged ‘1950’ and ‘Talia’ went viral worldwide thanks to the public curiosity of her music from Harry Styles. Ever since then, the anticipation has been building for the release of her debut album. Her chilled out, hazy and honest indie-pop has a very emotional core, and her inspiration comes from wanting to know what her smashed heart would sound like. And that’s honestly the best way to describe what her sound is because when you listen to her debut album if feels like your heart and emotions are being smashed to pieces and slowly being put back together.
‘Cheap Queen’ is a humble collection of tracks that are a little hazy around the edges and hears her oozing through a doo-woop inspired indie-pop production. Opening with crooning energy of ‘Tough On Myself’, the exaggerated guitar notes with her gospel inspired vocal delivery elevates this song about self-reflection to new heights. Reflecting on her low aimed dreams, she admits she never expected much from this life. “I’m just sitting at home smoking joints like it’s my job cause that’s what my dream was”. And even with all this success happening around her, she still questions if she’s good enough, which a lot of people will be able to relate to. “I get too tough on myself. Sitting alone, making fun of myself. And is it so wrong to just want someone else?”.
The slow burning title track ‘Cheap Queen’ sonically sits somewhere between ‘Talia’ and ‘Pussy Is God’ with it’s offbeat pop production and indie-pop polish. She admits that she’s okay even though deep down she is still hurting but trying to mask that. It’s a very strong contrast that shows the vulnerable side as well as an empowered side that wants to move on and share her growth. Throughout the record she revisits that approach with songs like ‘Ain’t Together’ and ‘Trust Nobody’ a well as the big soulful ‘Prophet’ which still has a lot of strong potential as a single.
Highlighting different strengths in production and songwriting, she kicks up the disco synths on ‘Hit The Back’ and embraces the queer icon she is by delivering a song all about bottoming. Yep, you read that right. And it really is a banger and a half.
In between the big indie-pop moments and the soulful melodies, she strips things back in a haze of smoke and offers some atmospheric moments like ‘Homegirl, ‘You Destroy My Heart’ and ‘Do you Wanna See Me Crying’. These tracks are really all about the feel of the song and really add to the vintage and authentic aesthetic of the record.
‘Cheap Queen’ isn’t going to be for everyone as it is quite laid-back. But the New York singer-songwriter croons through these songs so effortlessly and with such raw emotion that you can’t help but be so fixated and the songs soothingly play.
Must Listens: ‘Hit The Back’, ‘Prophet’ and ‘Homegirl’
You can purchase a physical copy of ‘Cheap Queen’ from Sanity HERE; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2434941/Cheap-Queen