In late February, young songwriter King Princess dropped her aching debut single “1950,” which quickly caught the attention of Harry Styles (and plenty of others). About a month ago, we heard her follow-up, a moody and lovesick cut called “Talia” that utilized the same massive, pulsating low end.
On Wednesday (May 16), the “Talia” video arrived, and prepare yourself: It’s an emotional ride through heartbreak and the perpetual fear of being without someone, all conveyed with the aid of one essential prop — a sex doll.
One could argue that the doll in question here is, in fact, not a prop but its own character in the loose narrative. After all, as King Princess (real name: Mikaela Straus) gnaws and smokes her way through losing someone special, the doll acts as an emotional stand-in. In this video, which her pal Amandla Stenberg edited and was colorist for, the pair roll around just like they’re lovers and even find a evening romantic evening together on the beach.
In her first big interview as an artist, Straus broke down one very key songwriting decision she made early on for i-D.
“I reached a point in my life where I was like, well, am I gonna gender my songs?” she told the magazine. “And I decided, yeah, I’m gonna put fucking female pronouns in my songs. It doesn’t make any sense for me to hide that part of myself.”
On “Talia,” she sings, “I can taste your lipstick, I can lay down next to you / But it’s all in my head / If I drink enough I swear that I will wake up next to you.” Watch that heartbreaking line, and the entire song, come alive in the mesmerizing video above.