Hold On Baby King Princess 2022

The debut album Cheap Queen by King Princess was like a summer night that goes on forever.

The New York-born producer and songwriter Mikaela Straus sang a series of Mellotron-heavy ballads about shooting the shit and exchanging furtive glances across crowded parties.

Each scene was portrayed with the insouciant and reflexive cool of an Eve Babitz tale.

It was a debut whose supreme confidence belied the fact that Straus first became famous after their Patricia Highsmith-referencing debut single “1950” went viral in early 2018

Straus delivered where many musicians react with hesitation to virality–quickly shifting gears, denouncing their early work- whereas Straus did it with the grace and star quality of a star.

Straus’ second album Hold On Baby, like Cheap Queen, is urbane, self-possessed and the result of a keen-eared artist who has found their niche as a producer/stylist. She sounds more like herself.

She is more flexible vocally, more lyricist and more confident in her ability to bridge the gap between different styles. Cheap Queen’s palette seemed ambiguously vintage,

with all old-school soul flourishes and redone to fit easily between Troye Sivan and Lorde.

They no longer sing with the soulful, yet somewhat anonymous, affectation of the Cheap queen.