Mikaela Straus is upstate, riding a horse. She’d been scheduled for an interview right now, yet the information didn’t make its way to her. “I’m quite literally still at the barn,” she apologizes moments later over the phone, “but I could FaceTime you from my grandma’s house in 45 minutes?” The 20-year-old singer-songwriter who records as King Princess lives in L.A., and she’s currently visiting family in Saratoga Springs.
Straus was raised in Brooklyn. Her father, sound engineer Oliver Strau...
We listen to pop music because we see our reflection in it, and so we’ve welcomed in more non-heteronormative figures to reflect our realities. L.A. trio MUNA were ahead of pop’s greater recent queering—a space occupied by King Princess, Clairo, and Kim Petras, to name a few. The ’80s-style synths and dark narratives of their early songs prompted the press to label them the “gay HAIM,” a disservice to both acts. Besides, MUNA emerged as punks—producing their own 2017 debut About U, presenting...
Billie Eilish’s mother is apologizing for the messy house. “We’re just back from tour,” explains Maggie Baird at the door of their little bungalow in Highland Park, just east of the Los Angeles River. Indeed, her daughter’s pop stardom has seemingly hit the family home like a tsunami. Tour luggage is by the door, unsure of whether it’s coming or going. The dining room looks like a Hot Topic stockroom after a burglary, with stacks of merchandise boxes containing flashes of neon-gre...
It’s Sunday in the garden of a Hollywood recording studio, and a battle is about to begin between hitmaker and frontman Jack Antonoff, singer Sam Dew, and hip-hop producer Sounwave. The music industry’s most in-demand are ripping the plastic off a new package of Settlers of Catan. The board game, according to Antonoff, is making a comeback, and he likes it as a metaphor for greed. It’s about humans who get a little taste of success and come back for more until it turns them into tyrants. “It ...
Shura Flew from London to New York for a First Date—and Fell in Love
The British singer-songwriter opens up about catfishing, the pope, and making explicitly queer art.
August 14, 2019
A couple of years ago, the viral synth-pop star Shura went on a date with a Brooklyn woman she’d met on Raya. Because she (real name: Alexandra Lilah Denton) is a critically acclaimed British success story, the date (naturally) involved a flight from London to New York. It went swimmingly....
At first glance, Hollywood’s most in-demand spiritual guru doesn’t look particularly mystical. Shaman Durek — dressed in a black T-shirt and white trousers, his arms decorated with tattoos — could be one of the hundreds of actors populating the city. As I arrive at his Airbnb near the Hollywood sign (he splits his time between London and Los Angeles), he wraps up a phone call with a vivacious, “I swear to God, you are so amazing!” before giving me a long full-force hug.
But looking around the...
Interview: Max Minghella, who plays Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale, is the enigmatic Brit in LA about to make his directorial debut
After slow-burn success in Hollywood films like The Social Network, Max Minghella’s career shifted up a gear when he was cast in the smash-hit TV adaptation. By Eve Barlow
Astro is an obscure diner in Silver Lake, Los Angeles’s hipster area. When it comes to trendy nooks in Silver Lake, there are options beyond this, but Astro is one of Max Minghella’s haunts. He’s sipping on a cup of tea in a booth, blending into the background. He wears cord trousers and trainers. The cords are his version ...
What is it like to be an American watching Liam Gallagher play an early evening set on Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage? This question was running through my head because there was an American stood next to me, alongside a Swede and an Australian, just as the former Oasis frontman, younger brother to Noel, and godlike British figure prepared to come on stage on Saturday.
Even before he appeared, it was a strictly British affair as the PA blasted out The Stone Roses (alongside Oasis, The S...
The festival’s final day was all about envelope-pushing pop divas, raising questions about what gender really means with regards to performance
Ahead of this year’s 49th Glastonbury festival, co-organiser Emily Eavis was happy to comment on the strides the festival has made in recent years – especially this year – when it comes to booking more female-identifying acts and also putting them on prominent slots. The biggest day for that was the third and final day on Sunday. The buzz onsite was t...
What makes Glastonbury so special? Eve Barlow talked to Julia Cumming from Sunflower Bean, who are playing at the festival for the first time, to find out.
On the first full glorious day of Glastonbury 2019, amid the soaring temperatures and feverish anticipation of the weekend ahead, a wide-eyed trio of New York rock'n'rollers sits backstage at the William’s Green tent, sweating and fidgeting ahead of their first-ever slot at the legendary festival.
Sunflower Bean are touted as the hardest-w...
MUNA Can Save the World
...and themselves, with their ambitiously personal, appropriately titled new album, Saves the World.
June 28, 2019
When the L.A.-based alternative-pop trio MUNA released their debut album, About U, in 2017, their positioning was as a queer, leftist band of punks. Focus in the press gravitated toward seeking answers: MUNA, tell us how fucked-up the world is! MUNA, what are the solutions? MUNA, please can you help?
K.Flay and Miya Folick: One Year Together and Counting
A conversation with the musicians about coming out, finding love, and writing songs about each other.
June 25, 2019
On June 2, the L.A.-based alt musicians Miya Folick and K.Flay (born Kristine Flaherty) made a public display of their love for the first time one year after they met. Each posted Instagram pictures from a selfie session Miya had captured of the two of them snuggling on a couc...