For her new album cover, Chelsea Nikkel sits among overgrown wildflowers hugging her knees to her chest while shooting the camera a grin. Pastels adorn her and butterflies float around her feet. But the first thing you may notice are her searing red eyes.

Nikkel has just released a new full-length effort under her longtime moniker Princess Chelsea, which she debuted with her first album in 2011, Lil’ Golden Book. She had a sharp wit from the beginning, though all most remember is the single that doubled as a PSA about smoking. But “Yulia” had weight and “Ice Reign” prophesied digital warfare. Several years later she came out with a decidedly braver record, which wasn’t as critically adored. The Great Cybernetic Depression relied more heavily on synthesizers than toy xylophones while discussing its namesake subject matter; it was too serious to be taken seriously, coming from an artist painted as synonymous with childlike femininity.

Her newest album is called The Loneliest Girl, and as the cover art suggests, she gets back to her blissful roots—but don’t get comfortable. Nikkel’s messages are more ambiguous than in the past, causing whiplash when you hear beyond the ample grooves.

The new record opens with a wordless, pulsing introduction, leaning on a toothy synth line that will follow Princess Chelsea for the next ten tracks. Nikkel writes songs as fables, always referring in third person to characters and emotions as though they were part of an experiment, social or otherwise. “The Pretty Ones” dictates that she must be the correct age to meet the standards of desirability, and only binary emotions are permitted when selecting a partner, per the title track. It’s amazing that she so proudly proclaims her feelings for ‘her boyfriend’ when in the same breath she admits that feelings are simply chemical reactions.

A glimpse of Nikkel without her candied veneer comes in the album’s closer, 'All I Need To Do'. "I’ve been making music for about eleven years,” the track begins, lacking the signature Princess Chelsea instrumental intro. She addresses herself, whichever persona applies in this situation, as she cries watching a video of Bruce Springsteen, vowing to “write a song that’s not as good.” While it’s impossible to compare the two artists, Princess Chelsea is content to continue making music as she’s always done. She’s not The Boss—she’s royalty.