King Princess Sparkles with Gritty Glamour on Cheap Queen

King Princess Sparkles with Gritty Glamour on Cheap Queen

Rock’s freshest star's highly anticipated debut album is everything we were hoping it to be.

Rock’s freshest star's highly anticipated debut album is everything we were hoping it to be.

Text: AJ Longabaugh

It’s undeniably been Mikaela Mullaney Straus’s year. Better known as King Princess, Straus sparked her rise as rock’s newest star with a string of releases including her viral hit “1950”, an EP that garnered the same attention, a large slew of magazine covers including our very own V117, and a couple of featured tracks with Mark Ronson. Now, the artist is garnering the applause she deserves after releasing her long-awaited debut album, Cheap Queen, which culminates as the perfect sum of angst and loss, painting a portrait of the minor and major heartbreaks that shape so much of who we are.

All of 20 years old, Straus reveals a deeper dive into the poetic sentiments she chooses to enlist in all of her music, shaping an entirely new narrative with each track and making every individual hook resonate at a consistent level of genius. One could define this as a feat of nostalgia. I credit her with identifying most with the gritty glamour of timelessness.

Front to back, Cheap Queen, is a bona fide rock album that finds epic potency in every feeling, vibe, or guitar riff Straus chooses to display at the forefront. Opening the album, “Tough On Myself” and “Useless Phrases” is like holding a mirror up to oneself with the title track acting as a liberating RuPaul-preaching moment we all deserve. Mid-album, “Homegirl” is the crush-ballad party song Straus’s generation has been waiting for, pulsing with sex, vulnerability, and the clear desire of wanting and wanting to feel wanted back.

A turning point occurs on the heart wrenching “Watching My Phone” which eases us into the final act of the album with the already iconic track “Hit the Back” and “If You Think It’s Love” riding us off into the sunset with a sense of closure which is a rare occurrence in modern times.

Without a doubt, Straus is proudly inheriting the art of being the leading figure of the band, holding post behind her guitar and flexing her absolute hardest while aiming to fuck up a crowd with every strum or thrust she executes. If you don’t have a crush on King Princess, you are doing it so, so wrong. She’s quickly becoming a cultural icon and is celebrating every ounce of her queerness along the way. A lesson in star power we all need and the reflection of a talent that only arrives once in a generation.

Stream King Princess’s Cheap Queen below:

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