Review: King Princess reigns with new summer anthems

“Hold on Baby,” King Princess (Zelig Records/Columbia Records)

In “Hold on Baby,” King Princess’ second album, there’s something emotionally relatable for all her listeners. Mikaela Straus, the 23-year-old musician behind King Princess, had a viral breakout hit with “1950,” which has over 20 million views on YouTube. She released her debut album, “Cheap Queen,” which proved the artist wasn’t afraid to be experimental with her sound.

But unlike her debut, this new album is not just about heartbreak. “Hold on Baby” is about trying to find that next epic love story. In “Winter Is Hopeful,” Straus highlights soft and sultry lyrics to highlight the seasons of her relationship. In “Crowbar,” Straus brings in soulful lyrics and sings, “Only since you’ve been by my side/Like a crowbar/Prying at the chip on my shoulder.”

However, there are some tracks where Straus doesn’t stray far from the pop sounds that made her go viral. “For My Friends,” plays with pop synth and feels like a summer song meant to be played on the radio.

The album isn’t just about love, it’s about self-acceptance. The range of sounds that “Hold on Baby” offers, proves Straus isn’t just one sound and isn’t just one viral hit with one idea. As she said on social media when announcing “Hold on Baby,” she’s an “infinite dichotomy of things that make me up. I’m not a girl, not quite a boy, a lesbian, but also gay as the day is long.”

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