Elle King: "I'm a Bad Kid with a Good Heart"

August 15, 2018
Elle King

Elle King


By Scott T. Sterling

“I was really busy, and then I wasn’t busy, and then I made an album,” is how singer Elle King jokingly sums up the past few years of her life during an exclusive interview with KROQ's Megan Holiday. “To get real in depth, that’s pretty much what I did. A little bit in the middle I like, lost my mind, went crazy, but it made the album great. Pain and suffering makes awesome music you can connect to.”

King’s debut album, Love Stuff, was an immediate hit, peaking at No.10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spawning the hit single, “Ex’s & Oh’s.” The song would go on to snag a pair of Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

Aside from a stand-alone 2017 single, “Wild Love,” the singer has been pretty quiet in the time since her breakout success--until now.

King has returned with “Shame,” the first salvo from her forthcoming sophomore full-length. The playful, retro-flavored track is powered by a catchy hook and the artist’s own inimitable personality.

“I’ve always been kind of a bad influence, but I have a lot of friends still. I don’t know,” King laughed when asked about the inspiration behind “Shame.”

“Last year, I hung out with some pretty bad influences and loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it,” she chuckled. “Sometimes, you wanna hang out with the bad kids. I’m a bad kid with a good heart. You know you want to come over to the dark side.”

When Holiday questioned King about what fans can expect on the new album, King was her characteristically frank self.

“Love Stuff was kind of… all of my slut years,” she admitted with a laugh. “It was a lot of different stories. This record, I was navigating my way through one really bad heartbreak. My spirit and my soul were just dim. This whole record is me climbing my way through, so some of it’s aggressive. Some of it is intense. Some of it is soft and sad. There’s some soulful stuff in there, too.

“I usually write about three things,” she elaborated with a wry smile. “How much of an a--hole I am, how much my heart is broken, and ‘Oh my god, I’m going to hell.’ So that’s always going to be a theme in everything I do, so we’re probably going to see some of that on this record.”

During the candid chat, King talked about her songwriter process, love for her “ride or die” bandmates and the experience of opening for none less than Led Zeppelin singer, Robert Plant, on tour.

“He’s a legend. We watched him onstage and you could see, genuinely, from inside out, he was happy to be there,” King said of the experience of being that close to Plant in his element. “He still loves singing and performing, and he loves hearing his band play. You can tell. It makes the audience feel that, and it’s just this really amazing, wonderful experience. We all really love playing and performing together. I feel really lucky.”

As for when fans can expect Elle King’s new album to drop, the singer played coy. “I don’t even know. Soon? It’s coming out soon, but I can’t give that away.”

A new Elle King album in 2018? All signs point to yes.