There are more than a dozen reasons why Conan Gray’s new single, “The King,” fits true to its name and will undoubtedly claim the royal treatment by fans old and new. The synthetic beat and rich bass meet Conan’s creamy voice within the first few seconds of the song, immediately drawing the listener’s ear in. The magnetic feel of the fresh release, born on March 8th, catalyzes listeners in a way that makes hearing it through not even a question. The storyline of the unapologetic crush who makes our knight in shining armor feel like he “has nothing to offer,” has already sucked us in— tell us, Conan. We’re listening.
The idea of being put on hold by someone you’re interested in is an idea that tolls the bell of familiarity in the minds and hearts of many; including Conan, as the single reveals. However, the confidence that Conan takes in claiming, “You like me, well obviously / So why you tryna leave when you know that I’m the King?” is where most of our assurances falter. This self-positive anthem is just as encouraging as it is honest and inclusive. Freedom of sexuality, passivity versus jealousy, confidence, and romantic turmoil are some of the thematic developments that add a personal, meaningful touch to the lovable hymn. As Conan grows from doubtful prince wounded by love to bold king aware of his self-worth, the progression of melody and plot serve as both a literal and figurative fortification of positivity.
The anthem reminds us that not every relationship is clean cut in reality as it can be in theory. Conan reminds us of this when he describes his patient observations — addressing his love interest in singing, “I let you date everyone then complain that you can’t find a lover.” The frustrations of watching our crush, in turn, crush on someone else is no doubt a sucker punch to the gut; and Conan admits to that. But the secret tinge of romance between him and his unknown lover is something he holds onto in asserting that they will come back to him – just as his fans keep coming back for more. “The King,” newly released March 8th, will unquestioningly gain deserved attention as it continues to grip the ears and minds of those who listen and, in true noble style, Gray has served us an incomparable treasure.