Album Cover Courtesy of Columbia Records and Zelig Records

While I don’t usually cover that many EPs here, or even full albums for that matter, something immediately drew me to the newly-released debut from the Brooklyn-born Mikaela Strauss — or King Princess to her fans. After stumbling upon her hit single “1950” on a mad dive into the depths of YouTube, I soon unearthed the small but plentiful catacomb of Strauss’ distinct pop musings. While the artist might evoke the sound of Dua Lipa and other mellow, mainstream women in the business, the nineteen-year-old packs a vital theme into her debut release — one that yearns to make its presence known to the ears of a volatile and divided culture.

With early singles like “Sunburn” and “Send Pix” shaping Strauss’ path towards her vibrant and mature debut, the young artist has seemingly found her calling in peeling back the layers of the modern romance. As her EP introduces us to the soulful pop inklings of the nineteen-year-old, it also works to showcase Strauss’ deeper desires in her songwriting process. With her hit singles in “1950” and “Talia” looking at the complicated romance between two young women, Strauss’ own experiences among the LGBTQ community are at the forefront of her debut. Slowly becoming the newest emerging voice in the vast “queer pop” genre, King Princess’ mind is on seeing the world through the eyes of those often cast out from society.

Rounding out the rest of her EP with other evocative melodies like “Holy” and the hazy foot-tapper “Upper West Side,” King Princess seems to be on a promising path towards making waves in the pop genre. With expansive vocals and a striking persona set to kick down the door of a diverse pop landscape, Strauss’ voice is keen to stand out amongst the synth-infused backdrop she occupies. The first release from Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records, the matter-of-fact lyricism of King Princess merged with the retro vibe of Ronson’s influence could spell potential for greatness in an artist who isn’t shy of showing the world who she is.

The debut EP from King Princess, including singles “1950,” “Talia,” and “Upper West Side” is available to buy and stream now.