Seeing the world through Baby Queen’s eyes is an infectious pop-led trip into the dark parts of modern life.
As Bella Latham finally unveils her debut EP, Medicine, it's easy to get caught up in the South Africa-born and now London-based singer-songwriter’s upbeat melodies and dazzling pop-hooks. Yet, piercing through all the swirling saccharine is a cutting honesty, laced with satirical quips, that makes her music vital for a disaffected generation.
Opener “Internet Religion” is a stream of consciousness whirlwind of an anthem, exploring the nightmare of a life built online. Deconstructing online personas with snarky remarks, “it's a pity / we can't Facetune personality”, Baby Queen is striding out with her own unique brand of anti-pop and a firm resolution to talk about everything that the pop-industry isn’t.
Open about her struggles with depression and exploring themes of body dysmorphia and online dating, she’s writing music that’s both catchy and frighteningly relatable to anyone growing up in the digital age. “Pretty Girl Lie” tackles the glossy, photoshopped images of women plastered across social media, noting our role in perpetuating the problem as she quips “I’m so obsessed with being you / That I become the problem too”, whilst “Buzzkill” zones in on depression-caused apathy and the fear of becoming a killjoy to those around her.
As EP highlight “Want Me” kicks in, her confessional spoken word story of an imagined unrequited love is self critical in its sincerity. With a bridge in French that opens with “I don’t even really speak French”, her desire for constant self-reflection feels like the antidote to a bubblegum pop world we’ve all become far too complacent with.
With a clever critique of a society that gives kids depression and aims to crush individuality and self-expression, Baby Queen’s Medicine suggests that maybe she’s the type of “pop-princess” this generation really needs.