It seems like in the course of a day last week the world turned upside down and a good majority of us are now sequestered in our homes until further notice. It feels like bad dream, a sort of unreality, like it couldn’t possibly be real - until you look outside and the busy streets are empty. It’s an odd feeling.
Music has always been a great tool in times of uncertainty. Songs offer a sense of stability and permanence. Cheap Queen by King Princess is a collection of songs that are helping define this new normal.
The artist, born Mikaela Straus, has created a collection of brilliantly soothing midtempo tracks that build on warm synths and soothing vocal performances. Whether it be the vamping opener “Tough on Myself”, the shifty, sliding title track, the atmospheric haze of “Prophet” or the blippy “Hit the Back”, there’s plenty here to cover you like a warm blanket. Tobias Jesso Jr. shows up for “Isabel’s Moment”, a beautiful piano ballad that showcases King Princess’s vocal prowess with haunting background vocals by Jesso.
For an artist that has had so much success already, Cheap Queen is a beautiful record that shows an artist pre-ascendancy - before the Saturday Night Live musical guest spot, before the recent Fiona Apple co-sign, before the success of the monolithic success of “1950”. Before - a word that holds so much more meaning and weight than it did a week ago. Music is a gift. It keeps us hoping and helps us to heal. King Princess has offered a record that’s doing just that. Thank you.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
This review was written by Brendan Hilliard, of Obviate Media. Obviate Media is a Chicago-based blog covering music and pop culture. Check them out, here: Obviate Media.