Sometimes a song hits your eardrum and you can’t stop listening for a week straight. That’s what happens with King Princess’ debut song “1950,” a mellow rock banger about queer love and unrequited feelings. Then when you read the lyrics to that song you’ve been humming all day, the world cracks open and reveals a truth you’ve been waiting your whole life to hear. “So tell me why my gods look like you, and tell me why it’s wrong,” King Princess sings to the woman of her affection, promising to keep praying to her and loving her. This is a song about an aching, yearning love that is scared to speak itself out loud but bold enough to keep on loving.
The same day I said, “Spotify’s Discover Weekly never works for me. I always only find one or two songs on it I like,” one of those songs was “1950” and I changed my mind about Discover Weekly forever. With lines like “I hate it when dudes try to chase me, but I love it when you try to save me,” “did you mean it when you said I was pretty?” and the chorus of “So I’ll wait for you, I’ll pray/I will keep on waiting for your love/for you I’ll wait/I will keep on waiting for you” this song captures the same kind of queer tenderness and longing that anthems by Tracy Chapman, Julien Baker, Mal Blum and early AW did, but she adds a bit more edge to her sound. King Princess described the song as a tribute to times when you couldn’t be openly queer.
Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms. I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history.
Just like in her name, in the video for “1950” King Princess does some queering around with gender, wearing a drawn-on mustache while singing “I’m just a lady.” The video is full of scenes of two young women hanging out together, touching each other’s hair, holding hands and getting close. There’s an intimacy here that’s instantly recognizable as queer. You can see her begging for an answer to her questions. She wants to keep playing 1950 forever. Please watch this video over and over and over again like I’ve been doing for a week.
This is King Princess’ debut song. She’s the first artist signed to Mark Ronson’s record label and she’s releasing an ep this spring. King Princess is a rising star with her stop-and-go guitar chords and melodies that keep on pushing; keep an eye out for what’s next from her!