Arabella Latham has the resume of somebody who’s had an superior begin to her 20s. The South African singer-songwriter, who information as Child Queen, made the BBC Sound of 2022 shortlist, then adopted up by internet hosting a video-game music present for the Beeb with, it should be mentioned, some fairly deep cuts. She was topped the sound of the Netflix young-adult collection Heartstopper, showing first on the soundtrack, then in a cameo. She’s toured with pop’s reigning It Lady, labelmate Olivia Rodrigo. Courtney Love known as her music “immaculate.” These are the types of successes one would possibly count on from an artist who stormed the music trade with an Excel spreadsheet of each music weblog going. On file, nonetheless, Child Queen is a scrappy outsider, singing about how she alienates her mates, can’t get her shit collectively, and makes “art-pop music concerning the medication I’m utilizing.”
Child Queen is, briefly, having a quarter-life disaster, a phrase Latham hadn’t encountered till she was halfway by making her album and effectively into one among her personal. The explanation we’ve a phrase for this explicit stasis, in fact, is as a result of numerous twentysomethings expertise it—together with those that write songs. And Quarter Life Disaster has loads of millennial counterparts, like Colleen Inexperienced’s burnout anxiousness on I Need to Develop Up, the bitter stoner teen-pop of short-lived aughts band Shut Up Stella, or P!nk’s second album Missundaztood—an album that’s to Child Queen and her friends what Britney is to the bubblegum-bling girlies.
In interviews, Latham has talked about the “parameters” of the Child Queen venture, and the types of songs that do and don’t match them: “I may sit down at a piano and write a track that’s not hyper-satirical and cynical, however wouldn’t it really feel prefer it’s quintessentially Child Queen?” But she and longtime producer King Ed are clearly drawn to shiny, uncynical pop, and out of the handfuls of songs Latham recorded for Quarter Life Disaster, that’s largely what made the minimize. The primary sounds on the album—the choral pings of “We Can Be Something”—counsel that Latham’s logged some severe hours with the least cynical track ever: “Don’t Cease Believin’,” as carried out on Glee. The only builds into an anti-nihilistic fantasy of the absolute best final result of crying at a celebration (“Which isn’t uncommon of me”), receiving after which spreading the epiphany that your complete life is forward of you: Assume Ladies by way of Zombo.com. The onslaught of optimism is simple—even should you can think about the saccharine industrial it would soundtrack.