Sunday, April 8th, 2018

King Princess – 1950

Let’s (not) step back in time…


Crystal Leww: What a lovely, kind, simple love song.

Julian Axelrod: Beyonce’s “All Night” infused with Lorde’s introverted aching and Frank Ocean’s defiant queer intimacy: It sounds like a mad scientist’s attempt to create the ultimate LGBTQ teen anthem, but luckily King Princess brings enough soul and presence to transcend the obvious reference points. And even if this is a transparent ploy to win over queer millennials, at least it worked on me.

Katherine St Asaph: A song about teenage feelings shouldn’t sound calmer than your school’s alma mater.

Stephen Eisermann: It’s very rare for the debut single from an artist to feel entirely authentic since many compromise a bit in an effort to release a catchy or memorable track, but here King Princess manages to release the most genuine song of the year (thus far). She is open in her queerness and revels in it, fawning after this girl she’s infatuated with while dismissing her male suitors. Her voice is husky and so expressive you can see her eyes rolling as she sings “I hate it when dudes try to chase me.” It all combines into a beautiful piece of music and a wonderful start to what I’m sure will be a brilliant career for King Princess.

Alfred Soto: I had to read about the queer subtext of “1950,” for neither the arrangement nor  King Princess do much to suggest it besides the latter inflecting “for you” to sound like “FUCK. yoo-ooh-ooh-oooo,” which would’ve been a plus.

Edward Okulicz: Perfectly pleasant, and I actually like how a song about queer love can be so frictionless, as if accepting its hard-won normality. But a song about hetero feelings that was this tasteful would bore anyone senseless too, and it’s not getting any points for transgression to mitigate against that.

Hannah Jocelyn: Comparing modern unrequited queer love to 1950 is a hell of a way to introduce a debut single. “Playing 1950” is a step beyond hard to get — it’s more like how half of the relationship development in Carol is silent gestures where you can’t even try hard to get when you need to make sure no one else is getting it. The other line I love is “why do my Gods look like you”, which made me think of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, another pinnacle of queer cinema wherein the mythology is that the Gods split a single body into two people. I see a lot of myself in King Princess’ laments, being interested in someone but then remembering what they don’t know about me. Love is hard when figuring out what names and pronouns to introduce myself with to which people, constantly guessing who and where is safe, all as this administration continues to try and eliminate the people that may or may not be like me. I only hope that in half a century, someone creates a bop about being in unrequited queer purgatory by “playing 2018.” At least, I hope that it has a hook as catchy as “I’ll waaaaiiit foh yoooouuuu…”

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