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King Princess - Let Us Die

2022-10-05 | 🔗

King Princess is the project of Mikaela Straus, a singer, songwriter, and producer from Brooklyn. She’s a platinum-selling artist, and she put out her second album in July, 2022. The last track on the album is the song "Let Us Die." Rolling Stone called it "the banger of the year."

In this episode, Mikaela breaks down the song, along with two of her collaborators on it: co-producer and co-writer Ethan Gruska, and multi-Grammy winning producer Mark Ronson. You’ll hear the original voice memo that Mikaela recorded, and the demo she made with Ethan. And you’ll hear the drums recorded by the late Taylor Hawkins, the legendary drummer of Foo Fighters and Alanis Morissette, who passed away earlier this year.

For more, visit songexploder.net/king-princess.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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A calm, slash song exploded and the disco will automatically be applied at check out. That's article dot com, slash song, exploded for fifty dollars off your first purchase of a hundred dollars or more This episode contains explicit language. Can such is the project of Mikhail Strauss a singer songwriter and producer of brooklyn she's, a platinum selling artist our second album in July, twenty twenty two last track on the album. the song, let us die, rolling stone, called it the banker of the year in this house Mikhail takes a song apart, along with two of the collaborators, producer and co writer, Ethan, grushenka and multi grim, Winning producer park runs you'll hear the original voice. By that the recorded a demo she made with Ethan and you'll, hear the rubs recorded by the late taylor hawkins the legend They drummer fu fighters and the latest morrison who passed earlier this year,
The. I'm king princess. I was in saint new york in this house. That's really important to me and my family by this lake that I go to a super depressed and upset and going through some relationship stuff. You know my girlfriend and I were going through this period of like she was like. Am I happy being with you and your constant need? to be seen by it. Everyone, including me and I was like well, please
don't leave me again. That was one of them Dont conversations. I've ever had was like really look at myself would be like am I hurting This person that I love by being me and ass. She hurting me by being her that's what I wanted to go through in this on. I was actually on the lake in the rain and I started, seeing the melody. He still that's why, I was getting off the boat walking up to the house. That's why I found a little winded is he so that's how it started was just the chorus malady in my head. Ethan grass scale and I quote, produced and corrode. Let us die with king princess Firstly, we ever got together was for the song
good feeling about you, then, and then I was like. I will show you this idea. Machine worked in with this fully formed chorus, and originally you play we, the idea, computer, but ya, know this had to be a big rock song. And some me grab this instrument that I have at my friend rule then made it like a cruise the tenor of the guitar that he retrofitted to be a day smith sunday. the river bridge Greece is town they somewhere in between hr base its very round. It is very hung over and sluggish sounding. we are just looking for something like kind of raw and like having a different kind of energy, and so I remember just showing you that instrument and you just kind of immediately ran it started playing that was kind and initial spark
So I kind of put my head down and just started writing in the and so one of the rhine scheme to be sick. Look all this kind of weren't puzzle rhyme said I felt, was indicative of what my brain was doing during this period of fighting and contemplating whether this relationship is gonna work We are always going back Fourthly, figuring out awaited
Have you be like really honest and human? Unlike rob like? Have these stranger more glitchy, turns being inserted until I got an fenech rocks. we are. The really wanted a spoken word poem in this song. leave us it means they will be happy. love the feeling that you're on the phone with someone in your life, throwing down the ultimatum. The idea something. I would end a phone call, whether that would be a voicemail being. a sound? We were doing a lot of fun communication and me in my girl at that point, so I've it's all right, This means
so ended up taking the song as they do, with some of my project side, mark kind of comes and towards the back half. My name is mark ransom, he's producer- he's a songwriter below my mentor. She brought me This demo and I just loved it. I just needed you hear it again and again he was really obsessed with the song and really existed the finishing of this song.
We're listening a song and he was like. First of all, there needs to be more guitars. The mark was just like by the last chorus. It needs to explode into like just insane chugging bar chord symphony. The final lyric is, if the only way to love you is to let us die, drive the car off the bridge and let us dive, and it's not to say that I want to live without you, but I will, if I have to the to
I just have this idea like I think that is really just he's a phenomenal drum performance. He was mikhail. There needs to be like a human drama on this. What about him? hawkins issues like holy shit soothing. He word here taylor played with a law and was, it's phenomenal drummer for so many people, so many songs that we love a lot of female rock like lady lady rock, which I love. I thought that was so cool and and then I obviously love the foo fighters. I love them so much and I said to him really dug the song he loved her voice. he loved the energy and the aggression of the lyrics, and that was it and I was like Oh wow, I don't think I'm ever gonna forget that day, and this was like remember: twenty twenty. It was night time we had worked all day. Taylor was in allay. I was in new york and my dad
and before he started mark managua on face timon. I was hey man, I was gonna nervous honestly and he was just how lovely and supportive- and just like I love the song, aren't you on two takes and the song starts in. He starts playing I just burst into tears, I was just like. Oh my god, this song just went from a seven to a fifty. She had only ever heard it with the program jobs in the first time he gets to the chorus and roll sir. I just saw she almost looked like in the matrix when they get punched in the stomach. Like slow motion, just a rural, the I was just like dying laughings, I was so emotional and he was also, I think, commotion on got to the end of the song, the first pass and it was just like he does
went crazy. And I was just plain is like while hoping takes and then like rushing out the booth like sweaty on face time. Like would you guys singer that were like? What do you mean? What do you think that was amazing and then, if you like I'll, go and do another one, he just kept playing. You know, and you could like feel him like smiling like if that makes sense like he was he loved it, he loved playing on it
if that was what was the most wonderful as a young artist was like. I want to be like that, like I want to love to play forever. That to me is what I took away the most out of that. After tractor guitars and he dropped his drums, I felt like it was in a really good place and then went into the mixing process. I went with sean ever at who ethan I both a door. He is a mad scientist. I remember being. that's studio and my dad was there and we're losing to the song. my dad is named oliver straws, who has been a studio owner for twenty years. My dad studio is in my childhood home and I grew up partially at it I was partially my moms, and it was only recording. You know we ve worked really hard on our relationship. I think it was interesting going into this record, because it was the first time that I really long time like since I was a kid that I was like. What's your opinion, her dad is just like
you know a great engineer and producer knows all the tricks of the trade So dad you know we're having kind of an issue with making the chorus hit really hard, because the verse hits really hard like the minute. The drums come in. You feel like ooh, a moving train and we want the train, go faster in the chorus, I was, I die what you think, and he was a hang all just make the verses motto in the choruses stereo Then the shine unable to like dad after that he got very comfortable by the end, be like Sean was, it was fun, he was cute and I'm happy. We shared that and that note made a huge difference.
Since I was a little kid, I've always written music to try to express my feelings to other people. come way less articular I feel like when I'm speaking, I am when I'm writing a song for somebody arms force you to be concise, and I tend to not be that concise and so, when I put out better bring music home and show it to people, though is be these moments, these kind of hard moments of like this is how you are feeling you got, They expressed herself somehow or else you're gonna be consumed in europe. Should he feels all day. In march, twenty twenty two, the song was done basically, but it hadn't come out yet and then, on march, twenty fifth taylor hawkins passed away. While foo fighters were on tour in south america, I felt devastated just the tragedy of losing someone that is such a beacon alight.
Yeah I mean I didn't even know what to think weak signal, maybe, even months later, we broached the discussion of what is the respectful thing to do. You know is the respectful thing too. to not release it. What I aim to his like it's really that decision of his family. If that some Think they'd like to be out in the world's so yeah asks you always say. What do you feel about this? I can't and began to tell you how sorry. I am in house how I do not mean to burden you with this question, but you know they basically were like if he loved the song and he wanted to be on it, then it should come out, so he went back to turn the germs of us you are turning up. Every fails, seven Debbie's and I spoke to her dave growl because I told him the story, how we turned our all of taylor's fails like that.
Exactly I would want it. Can I get to work with people, sometimes every once in a blue moon. That you're like wow like this is this means something to me as a musician and he was one of those people. It was brief, but he made me feel all like I was legitimate as a musician, and I just I'm so proud of you know. Now: here's let us die by king princess in its entirety,
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-16.