Published Jun 25, 2018King Princess opens her debut EP by inviting you to watch as she makes her bed. With this gesture of trust and intimacy, the artist known offstage as Mikaela Straus ushers in her world of shimmering pop sketches, a collection that beautifully reveals the emotional depth to be unearthed in the day-to-day.
Sonically, Make My Bed does not chart much new territory, building on the meticulous, glossy pop confections by the likes of Lorde and Troye Sivan. What distinguishes Straus, however, is the emotional depth her songs exude. As the second chorus nears in "Talia," for instance, the echoing backing vocals and blown-out drums suddenly cut out, as Straus's usually restrained voice pushes and breaks in the silence. In these imperfections, Make My Bed finds its signature emotional honesty.
Throughout such lucid moments of love, desire, and regret, King Princess never loses sight of the politics that govern these personal emotions. While not as explicit as recent political pop albums (like U.S. Girls' In A Poem Unlimited), Straus's work succeeds in crafting tracks that reorient the musical and lyrical tropes of modern pop through a plainly queer lens. See "1950," a bare-bones earworm that sets moving lyrics about the suppression of queer desire to a finger-snapping melodic sweetness.
Though other moments on Make My Bed never quite communicate the same political depth, this closing track powerfully reminds us of the political forces bound up with personal relationships on this winning first release. (Zelig / Columbia)