Album Review King Princess - Hold On Baby

A vulnerable musical experiment that stays true to her roots of authenticity.

King Princess - Hold On Baby

King Princess’ second album ‘Hold On Baby’ is about facing herself. “I’m not sure I like myself, but I’m figuring it out,” Mikaela Straus writes in the record’s accompanying manifesto. “I want this album to give us all some strength in accepting ourselves as chaotic as we can be.” Indeed, this may be King Princess’ most diverse, “chaotic” sound to date - within its tight 12 tracks, the album dances across innumerable genres and influences, each another door through which to access herself. The project bounces from muted yet stormy piano on introspective opener ‘I Hate Myself, I Want to Party’, to pulsing and electric on ‘Little Bother’, to wispy, tender, then utterly explosive and earth- shattering on the Aaron Dessner-produced ‘Change The Locks’. These varied sonic textures are tied together by her distinctive conversational vocal tone and unflinching songwriting. King Princess sings directly to her girlfriend on ‘Winter Is Hopeful’ to assuage her fears: “Quinn, oh Quinn, I love you / I feel its seasons / Summer is cold and winter is hopeful”. Pulling together synth, strings and warped melodies, the love song is tender yet distant, disarming yet comforting, discordant yet oddly harmonious - the way this album sounds.

 

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