Today’s Song: King Princess Makes Her Choice with “Ohio”

King Princess © Vince Aung
Indie pop royalty King Princess stuns yet again with “Ohio,” the epic and emotional guitar-driven anthem off her debut album Cheap Queen (Deluxe).
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Stream: “Ohio” – King Princess

 




Like everything that comes out of Brooklyn, I feel like I’m catching on just a bit late with King Princess. The indie pop New York native debuted with an EP in 2018 and followed it up with a full-length album, Cheap Queen, in 2019. With over 5 million monthly Spotify listeners, yeah, I didn’t buy in on the ground floor. But when you live 800 miles from the nearest coast, sometimes the 6th floor is the best you can do.

Cheap Queen leans towards jazzy, midnight power ballads, and in between thick synths and heavy vocals, King Princess peppers in a few dance hits. But the most interesting song on the album, particularly when juxtaposed with the rest of the tracks, only came with the deluxe version of the album released in February of this year. The last song on the extended album is “Ohio,” an epic, guitar driven anthem.

Ohio - King Princess

Ohio – King Princess

How’s it been in Ohio, babe?
Do you think about me
When you’re going home?
‘Cause I’ve been getting rich
But everything I love is broke
So what’s good?
Is it me or is it you?
Are you getting what you need?
Is it hard to roll a J without
me laying by your knees?

‘Cause I’ve been getting paid
But my best girl ain’t next to me
So what’s good? Is it me or is it you?
So what’s good? Is it me or is it you?

“Ohio” starts with washy, canny guitar strokes that frame King Princess’s gloomy, one-sided conversation with a (presumptively) ex-lover. “Do you think about me when you’re going home?” she asks, before confessing later “I’ve been getting paid, but my best girl ain’t next to me.”

King Princess © Vince Aung

King Princess © Vince Aung



King Princess isn’t singing about the typical, vast struggles that come with launching yourself into the music world, but rather one thing she’s missing. One person. Her tone during the first half of the song is heartbreaking. It puts you in her bedroom, wondering alongside her whether this memory of a person still thinks about the singer, still has them in their dreams. “Is it me or is it you?” King Princess asks over and over, weighing her future life as a rock star against her love stuck in Ohio. My dreams or your love. Me or you.

‘Cause when I think about it
Oh, you’re all I wanna do
So what’s good?
Is it me or is it you?



King Princess © Vince Aung 2020

King Princess © Vince Aung 2020

Call here and I’ll
Show you what I like about it
I don’t know what’s best for me babe
But come here and I’ll
Show you what I like about it
I don’t know where you’ll be baby
Come here and I’ll
Show you what I like about it
Oh, so is it me or is it you?
So is it me or is it you, baby?
Is it me or is it you?

 

But as the first half of the song moves on, so does King Princess. After one last painstaking time posing that key question, “Is it me or is it you?”, the high-hat chimes in and the guitar’s overdrive snaps on. “Ohio” dives into heavy desert-rock guitar riffs, grinding through the gain of the amp.

King Princess shuns the despair in her voice from the first half of the song and replaces it with confident, whining vocals, channeling Prince’s “Darling Nicky.” Still asking the refrain of “Is it me or is it you, babe,” she now pairs it with a proposition: “Come here and I’ll show you what I like about it.” And with that, we know her choice. King Princess chooses herself. She chooses her music. And we’re all damn glad she did.

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:: stream/purchase “Ohio” here ::
Stream: “Ohio” – King Princess





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Cheap Queen Deluxe - King Princess

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📸 © Vince Aung


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Jonny is a wide-eyed yuppie looking for inspiration from his couch. When he's not in the pits of Corporate America, he's doing his best to sit down and write anything he can. Short stories, album reviews, drunk texts. Jonny graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Economics and sweet, sweet memories of his freshman year band, Space Curtain. Jonny started writing for Atwood Magazine in 2020.