King Princess (Mikaela Mullaney Straus) brought a new definition to Indie music in 2018 with the release of her debut EP ‘Make My Bed’ which combined atmospheric synth, soulful vocals and blues rock style guitar. Since then she has continued to grow exponentially, now signing with Mark Ronson’s Zelig recordings label.
At the age of just 11 King Princess refused a recording deal, worried about the restrictions it would place upon her music and her raw open lyrics orientating around homosexuality and genderqueer identity. Harry Styles and Halsey co-signed her debut single ‘1950’ due to the restrictive US laws on homosexuality during this period. However, since the success of that EP led to her performing at Coachella and Lollapalooza she has gone on to sign with Zelig records and is now performing and producing alongside Ronson.
Her new EP acts as a more polished and technical reflection on what was previewed in previous tracks, the title track ‘Hit the back’ has an interesting blend of a soulful bluesy intro with a retro style beat carried throughout – something reflected in the 90s feeling title. Whereas other songs on the album such as ‘Prophet’ include an almost Radiohead-esque sounding second half, with a stripped down, synth refrain and gentle vocals.
What is continuous throughout all of King Princess’ music is the intently personal and decorative lyrics reminiscing upon childhood, experiences as a queer woman and her newfound self-confidence. Some even describe her songs as almost ‘anthemic’ due to their powerful messages to women and people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Hit the Back explores a refreshing balance between stripped back, bluesy guitar and retro style beats. The synth adds an essential layer that ultimately creates a powerful and enjoyable album from an up-and-coming artist who is sure to be headlining some major events in the not too distant future.