It is impossible to have lived through the summer of 2016 and not to have heard Christine and the Queens at least once a day. The track ‘Tilted’ was unquestionably the song of the summer and the hype surrounding Christine and the Queens, (her real name is Héloise Letissier) continues to intensify.
The 28 year old French singer combines sweet vocals with synth-pop beats to create a truly unique sound. Combine this with the stunning dance performances and art that accompany her music and you begin to see why everyone is going crazy for Christine and the Queens. Letissier began performing as Christine and the Queens in 2010 and released her debut album ‘Chaleur Humaine’ in 2014, and has been steadily gaining momentum ever since.
The hype surrounding her began increasing after her appearances on The Graham Norton Show and on Later…with Jools Holland, but it was her stellar set at Glastonbury which truly cemented her place in the soundtrack of 2016. In Ireland her Longitude set was one of the best received acts of the Dublin festival this July. In a market saturated with repetitive pop songs, Letissier is a breath of fresh air.
When developing her act, she took inspiration from London drag queens, describing her style of music as ‘freak-pop’. She sees her alter-ego ‘Christine and the Queens’ as being her own form of drag persona. The theme of gender and sexuality is not something Letissier shies away from. She has publicly come out as pansexual and has stated that she doesn’t want a gendered label to be attached to the persona of Christine and the Queens. She sees it as something that transcends gender, as more of an energy. It’s this eccentricity that makes her a captivating artist.
She has set out from the beginning to bring something different to mainstream pop music. She aims to bring elements of the strange or fantasy into her act, incorporating various performance art pieces in the process. Everything from the choreography to the album artwork is very carefully thought out and seeks to create something more than just another catchy song. If you want a break from overly produced, manufactured pop, download Chaleur Humaine, sit back and enjoy.
Aoileann Kennedy | Music Editor