New York-based singer/songwriter, King Princess (Mikaela Straus) released her second album, Hold On Baby today (29 July), and the first single Let Us Die - co-written by Mark Ronson and Ethan Gruska - features a drum track from late Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins.
Previewing the song to her Instagram followers earlier this week, Straus announced Hawkins’ contribution by air-drumming along to the track.
“These are two clips from the session where the great Taylor Hawkins graced my record with his magical drumming. Mark suggested that should Taylor play on let us die and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“Taylor wasn’t only down to play on the song, but he was also the most encouraging and wonderful presence during that session. I started sobbing at one point and mark couldn’t stop smiling. I have never felt so lucky. Taylor made this song what it is, and I can’t wait for you to hear it.”
Speaking with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1, Straus explained how the collaboration with Hawkins came about in more detail.
“I was like, ‘This is the type of shit that I want to do.This brings me the same feeling I get from Alanis. And that is what I strive for.’ And I showed Mark the song and Mark was like, ‘This is amazing’, which he does not always say. So I knew it was something special.
“And he was like, ‘But we really need a drummer who’s going to bring life to this. This needs to be a living and breathing person behind a drum kit and not a programmed beat. Not a sample. This is the type of song that needs humanity behind all the instruments’.”
“I was like, ‘Do you think that you could get Taylor Hawkins to play on my song?’ He’s like, ‘Mikaela, don’t even worry about it’.”
Hawkins’ first posthumous release came in April, just weeks after the drummer’s death on 25 March, in the form of his vocal contribution to Edgar Winter’s cover of Guess I’ll Go Away - originally written by Edgar’s brother Johnny Winter. Edgar’s version features session legend, Greg Bissonette on drums.
Meanwhile, the surviving members of Foo Fighters are in the run-up to two Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts due to take place on 4 September in London (Wembley Stadium) and 27 September in Los Angeles (Kia Forum).