King Princess's penchant for downbeat, hungover pop had a great moment earlier this year when she paired up with legendary songwriter/creative force Fiona Apple for "I Know." That swaying, sleepy number belied the powerful gales of emotionality King Princess (real name: Mikaela Straus) can conjure with a turn of phrase and a detached tone of voice.
Her latest single, "Cheap Queen," dropped on Friday (May 31) and continues the trajectory she established on last year's great Make My Bed EP by magnifying her perspective. Alternating between calling herself a "cheap queen" and a "real queen," Straus delivers a whispery, yet unbeatably catchy chorus that sounds like she wrote it out with minimal effort — but deep down, you know she worked hard.
"I'm getting too cocky since everyone wants me / It's harder to be myself," she delivers on the bridge amid distant samples of a voice saying "queen." It's likely true: Since debuting in 2018 with the Harry Styles-approved "1950," Straus has grown steadily, working with Mark Ronson and making good on her early momentum.
"Cheap Queen" isn't as playful as "Pussy Is God" or as shout-ready as "Talia," but it revels in its own fogginess. Here, Straus subtly pushes forward the King Princess sound while examining her inner self. It's not hard to imagine fans singing along to the "I can make grown men cry!" part on the Pussy Is God Tour, which makes a stop at Governors Ball in New York this weekend.
Listen to "Cheap Queen" above, then get to know King Princess via the 2018 MTV News interview below.