Today’s Song: Beauty Queen’s Dreamy “Sweet Memory” Evokes Seductive Wonder

Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson
Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson
True to its name, the saccharine “Sweet Memory” is a seductive burst of passion and wonder that highlights Beauty Queen’s ability to whisk listeners into a dream world of her own creation.
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Stream: “Sweet Memory” – Beauty Queen




Her music video may scream STRANGER DANGER, but Beauty Queen’s latest single is far more a breath of fresh air than it is one of fear or insecurity. True to its name, the saccharine “Sweet Memory” is a seductive burst of passion and wonder that highlights Beauty Queen’s ability to whisk listeners into a dream world of her own creation.

Sweet Memory - Beauty Queen
Sweet Memory – Beauty Queen
Rounding the corner, you pushed past me
Are you criminal or a sweet memory?
Am I alone or are you still looking at me
Are you criminal or a sweet memory?
I can’t make it in time
but I still got your back
Goes to show, I don’t know why

Released February 20, 2020 via Alyse Velturo’s (pronoun) Sleep Well Records, “Sweet Memory” is Beauty Queen’s first offering of the year. The follow-up to 2019’s debut EP Out of Touch offers a lush burst of retro pop warmth most associated with the band Tennis – and as it just so happens, the wife-and-husband due of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley produced this song. Smoother, more spacious and colorful than her previous effort, “Sweet Memory” finds Beauty Queen’s Katie Iannitello embracing all aspects of her artistry: Her emotive, highly expressive vocals, her propulsive guitar work (the riffs never stop), and her delicate, hypnotizing synth playing. Together with an infectious melody and just the right amount of repetition, “Sweet Memory” becomes the kind of sonic dream we never want to leave.

Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson
Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson



Describing her music as “vintage bedroom pop… best listened to while smoking at the back end of the parking lot, while skipping AP trig,” Maui-born and Los Angeles-based Beauty Queen has made quite the mark in her first year, yet 2020 is already looking to be her year. “Sweet Memory” feels like the next level in the artist’s repertoire – like she took the necessary feedback and learning experiences from the first round, and applied them all at once to her time recording with Tennis. The song is soothingly rich, its sound filling up the ears with a feeling – a full-throttle groundswell of energy. Iannitello’s vocals are immediate and intimate; she sings up-close as though she needs to get her words out, and like she’s speaking to us and us alone.

Lyrically, “Sweet Memory” is a song full of missed connections and wonder. The chorus’ line, “You keep me waiting,” speaks to how the many, many people most of us encounter in our daily lives are complete and total strangers to us. We will never know more than what meets the eye; they will be people on the street, on the bus or the subway, in the restaurant, and nothing more… but we can always wait and wonder what our interactions might be like, if we took the time to stop and get to know them:

You keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
But it’s no surprise



Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson
Beauty Queen © Taylor Thompson

“I wrote the first line of ‘Sweet Memory’ during one of my 2.2-mile walking commutes from the ramen restaurant I worked at, to the eight-bedroom house I lived in during my time in San Francisco,” Beauty Queen’s Katie Iannitello tells Atwood Magazine. “I couldn’t take the bus because I get motion sickness… so needless to say I got a lot of exercise when I lived there. Walking at night was so peaceful, yet, I did find there to be moments when someone would be striding towards me and I’d wonder… who is this person? Why are they walking? To where? From where? I liked living in a walking city, because I got to see a lot of people in their day to day.”

Rounding the corner, you pushed past me
Are you criminal or a sweet memory?
Thought I heard you coming, I’m just waiting to see
Are you criminal or ah ah ah ah
I can’t make it in time but I still got your back
Don’t you know, oh heaven only knows why

That wonder comes into play in full force in Beauty Queen’s “Sweet Memory” music video, directed by Taylor Thompson and starring Owen Barret and Coral Cataldo. In it, we see a casual, innocent stranger’s interaction springboard into a full-on romance, with some twists and turns toward the end. Spring-boarding off the song’s message, the music video leads us down the rabbit of adventure, giving us the chance to explore what might happen if we took a chance and made that first step toward engaging with our surroundings in a more intimate, vulnerable way.

Ultimately, Beauty Queen’s music is fun, frisky, and extraordinarily intoxicating. “Sweet Memory” is just that – a sweet memory we will carry with us long after the song ends, and we return to reality. Stream it now and watch the video below, and stay tuned for more from this exciting and provocative new talent!

You keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
But it’s no surprise
Surprise, no surprise
When I wake up next to you
I will never do what you want
You keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
Keep me waiting
But it’s no surprise

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:: stream/purchase “Sweet Memory” here ::
Stream: “Sweet Memory” – Beauty Queen



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Sweet Memory - Beauty Queen

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📸 © Taylor Thompson


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