Royal & the Serpent
RIAA Gold-certified singer-songwriter Royal & the Serpent is an artist entirely unafraid to bare the deepest and darkest parts of her psyche. After making her Atlantic Records debut with get a grip—a 2020 EP whose RIAA Gold-certified single “Overwhelmed” captured the chaos of sensory overload and spent 22 weeks on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart—the L.A.-based singer/songwriter revealed even more of her frenetic inner world with 2022’s IF I DIED WOULD ANYONE CARE. Royal’s unfiltered songwriting has proved wildly resonant to her ever-growing fanbase and led to such triumphs as touring with Demi Lovato and making an appearance on the pop superstar’s latest full-length. Royal released her most complex and illuminating output to date, Happiness Is an Inside Job, on October 28, 2022. Despite embodying a brighter outlook than her past work, the five-track EP adds even more ferocity to the explosive form of alt-pop she’s showcased at major festivals like When We Were Young and Firefly and in touring with artists like grandson and PVRIS. Made with producers like Zakk Cervini (Yungblud, Poppy), Keith Sorrells (Demi Lovato, Pink Sweat$), and David Dahlquist (Hayley Kiyoko, Pierce the Veil), Happiness Is an Inside Job also introduces a new element of grunge into Royal’s guitar-fueled collision of pop-punk and left-of-center hyperpop, ultimately arriving at a brilliantly warped sound all her own. Originally from New Jersey, she first took up guitar at age 14 with help from the then-six-year-old sister of her friend Donna Missal (a fellow singer/songwriter now signed to Harvest Records), then relocated to L.A. at age 18. While working as a bartender, Royal soon started self-releasing her music, beginning with her spellbinding 2017 single “Temperance.” Thanks to the buzz behind songs like 2019’s “Weddings & Funerals” and “Salvador Dali”—and to her electrifying live show—she eventually inked a deal with Atlantic and released “Overwhelmed” in the early days of Covid lockdown.