“My God, is it hard to be loved, but that’s life,” muses King Princess (real name Mikaela Straus) in “Too Bad” from her highly anticipated second album, Hold on Baby. The pop star’s follow-up to 2019 debut Cheap Queen is packed to the brim with introspective bangers that explore different ideas of love, from self-love to romantic relationships and beyond. In opener “I Hate Myself, I Want to Party”, Straus reflects on her own self-destructive tendencies against frantic guitar breakdowns, while “Sex Shop” is an intimate song about existing beyond the binaries. On “Let Us Die”, the album’s pop rock closer, she sings “It’s not to say that I wanna live without you/ But I will if I have to” against an anthemic chorus of crashing drums. A star in the making, Straus is real and self-reflective, with classic-sounding melodies that are bringing queer pop to the masses.
Elsewhere, BABII shares a euphoric mixtape, Lava La Rue drops a funk-ridden EP, and Queen Bey blesses us with Renaissance.