King Princess – Hold On Baby [Track By Track Review]

“I Hate Myself, I Want To Party” – I think that this first song on the album shows the new-found honesty that I was expecting for this album. It alludes to the monotony that you feel everyday when you’re in a depressive episode. So depressed that you don’t feel like yourself anymore. I liked the line “I thought I couldn’t make a song now, I think I’m gonna write again”. I think that this line really tells you how she’s been feeling, she thought she couldn’t do her favorite thing, but now she’s pulling herself up out of it. This song builds and builds until she says “I don’t wanna live like that” over and over. So the whole song reads as if she’s gone through this depressive episode but she pulls herself out of it and now we have this whole record to listen to.

“Cursed” – We’ve all heard this song, right? Because I just love it. This song reminds me of her earlier work as a young writer; it’s just fun and easy to listen to. The lyrics aren’t metaphorical, they’re just honest. The theme of this song is being friends with an ex. My favorite part of the song is the bridge. It’s sort of messy with layered vocals and a synth part but there’s focus on the drums.

“Winter Is Hopeful” – This song is surprisingly intimate. Normally King Princess is hard to get and she pretends that she’s a playa. The truth is she’s been with her very talented longtime girlfriend/partner Quinn Wilson for about four years now. A lyric in the song is literally “Quinn oh Quinn oh Quinn I love you.” This song as a whole is a slow jam about how much she’s obsessed with her girlfriend.

“Little Brother” – This song was a collaboration of King Princess, Foushee and producer Zach Fogarty. In an interview about the song with Our Culture magazine she said it’s “about tiptoeing around someone you’ve lost and feeling like a pest.” I just think their voices sound so great together on this track, and I hope they continue to collaborate.

“For My Friends” – This song starts off mellow and grows until you hit the pre chorus, when the chorus comes in you think the beat is going to drop, the beat finally drops halfway through the chorus. The way that the beat lines up with her singing in the chorus when she says “but I’m coming home” and “but still I know” is my favorite part.

“Crowbar” – This song sort of caught me off guard, especially right after “For My Friends.” The piano part and the clap-clap clap beat seemed off brand to me. However, I cannot criticize her creativity and I’m glad this album isn’t filled with the same song twelve times over. This song sounds like it was influenced directly by Fiona Apple (someone who king princess had the pleasure of collaborating with).

“Hold On Baby Interlude” – This little interlude begins with King Princess saying “I don’t think I’m supposed to feel like this” and “I’m a silhouette of mental health.” I think it’s an interesting break from the hype of the rest of the album. It’s also like a reminder that even though she’s writing bangers, she’s still sad.

“Too Bad” – If I’m being honest, this might be my favorite song on the album. It’s this angsty song about when people belittle the way she’s feeling. I think that in a way she’s saying that these people have a point, but that’s not going to stop her from feeling terrible about herself.

“Change the Locks” – I love the beginning of this song with the “ooo’s” but I do not like the first line. Mainly because she un-ironically uses the word “awesome.” I really like the intense part where she says “so I guess it’s over cuz I’m hardly sober anymore.” That part just feels really real.

“Dotted Lines” – This song begins with an early and delicate piano melody. This song also took me off guard because the beginning sounds like video music in a way. I love the emo sounding chorus where she says “I throw a couple back in the bathroom tiles, be a pretty face over tears I’ve cried.”

“Sex Shop” – I never thought I’d hear a love song that takes place in a sex shop. This song is unapologetically sappy. They’re in this shop but all she can think about is how much she loves this girl and she’s worried this girl doesn’t love her back. Based on the title the song is not what I was expecting at all. 

“Let Us Die”- Immediately I love the guitar tone on this, the beat comes in shortly after she starts singing. The beat changes up a lot in this song.

Overall this is another beautiful work by Mikaela Straus. In this album she’s reconciling with the fact that she might be the problem in her problematic relationships. She describes being right on the edge of mania or depression, and she’s balancing between those two extremes. It sounds like she’s working on herself and she’s working on being honest.

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