Mikaela Mullaney Straus, the Brooklyn-born pop insurgent known as King Princess, doesn’t turn 21 until next month, but she’s clearly already spent a bunch of time figuring out how her first late-night performance should go. King Princess released her full-length debut Cheap Queen last month, and she’s already collaborated with people like Fiona Apple and her label boss Mark Ronson. She is poised to be a big deal. And last night, she made her TV debut on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert. She made an occasion out of it.
On Colbert last night, King Princess sang “Hit The Back, which starts out as a raw ballad and turns into a sort of disco-pop stepper. She had a meticulously planned-out stage — cool backdrop, backing band in coordinated outfits. And she really sold both parts of the song, showing off her throatily intense voice and twirling around the stage with panache. She’s a natural.
As an online bonus, King Princess also sang “1950,” a ballad that was a minor alt-rock radio hit last year. (It comes from her debut EP Make My Bed.) For that one, she picked up a guitar and changed up the mood of the performance. Both performances are impressive, and you can watch them both below.
Cheap Queen is out now on Zelig/Columbia.