If there’s one defining characteristic about King Princess, it’s that she’s not afraid to tell exactly like it is.
Not even two minutes into “Back of a Cab,” she calls out the listener as she casually coos: “You like gay shit.”
King Princess re-released her debut album Cheap Queen as a deluxe edition that includes five new tracks. Cheap Queen was one of my personal favorite albums of 2019 for its cohesiveness, general pleasant ear-feel, and emotion more raw than open-heart surgery.
And yet, the five new songs somehow bring out five seemingly new sides of the 21-year-old singer. While none of them feel like they could’ve fit in quite as seamlessly with the rest of the original album tracklist, it makes sense for them to reveal a face of King Princess’ artistry that Cheap Queen didn’t showcase.
So without further a-goddamn-do, here’s my track-by-track analysis of Cheap Queen’s newest auditory treats.
“Back of a Cab”
While King Princess never directly admits she’s still into her past lover, she admits something many people might feel too proud to: she doesn’t mind that she’s still on her ex’s mind. Slow but not sad, this track almost makes you want to sink back into your bed, couch, backseat or wherever you’re lying and just let the music steer your brain into a contained sense of figuring out what you want.
“All Dressed in White”
Sandwiched between two songs about exes, King Princess doesn’t get mushier than “All Dressed in White.” The song barely cracks the two-minute mark, almost as if she was too embarrassed to openly proclaim her love for a second longer. Dedicated to the “queen of my living room,” KP sheds her skin and is proud to display her love. The ups and downs of the orchestra and the cooing of the chorus make this a stunning ballad. For years to come, don’t be surprised if you start hearing this as the first dance at a same-sex wedding.
“Forget About It,” featuring Banoffee
This breezy, laidback kissoff track is somehow more scorching than a slap to the face. Even though King Princess may have promised she’d never forget you, now, that’s precisely what she’s going to do. Her lyricism of writing in the exact way that today’s twenty-something might talk is oddly refreshing, but surprisingly not irritating. You want KP? She says it best: “It’s a no from me.”
A heartbreaking ode to the bitter end of a cherished friendship, this song hits uncomfortably close to home. Just from the opening lyrics alone, it feels like she’s pulled a memory reel from the tapes of my mind: “Now you wanna be my best friend, again/ Call me after two years and then/ Cry about your bad luck with men/ And ask me how the fuck have I been.” Once again, King Princess is somehow able to connect to the real-life experiences of today’s young adults in not only what it means to be in love, but what it means to be a good (or bad) friend.
If there’s one thing I didn’t expect to hear in this new batch of songs, it was an electric guitar break. But God, it just feels so right. King Princess leans into rock so suddenly and effortlessly, I can feel myself right in the crowded pit of her concert, fighting back rabid fans to try and get as close to her humanly possible to revel in her greatness.
Though her discography is not terribly extensive thus far, King Princess has yet to disappoint me. Whether it’s an album, a few songs or just a crumb of a snippet of a single lyric, I’m going to eat it up like a piping hot dish of eggplant parmesan (eagerly).
Just keep giving us that “gay shit,” King Princess. Keep it coming.
[Read more: Review: Eric Nam’s concert illuminated the Fillmore]