Introducing Christine and The Queens; pop music’s tour-de-force

Christine and The Queens is the nom de plume of French-born electronic artist Héloïse Letissier, whose blend of powerful minimalism and flamboyant, electric pop has given Letissier celebrity status and near-universal acclaim.

Christine and The Queens’ debut album, Chaleur Humaine, was met with fervour in Letissier’s native France in 2014 and in the UK in 2016, selling over 1.3 million copies to date.

christine and the queens
Photo: Universal Music Australia

On her stunning sophomore record Chris, Christine & The Queens is overtly sexual, captivatingly mysterious and beautifully androgynous.

Her sophomore record, Chris, was released today.  The album marks a change for Letissier; Chris channels non-conformity and hyper-masculinity to create something sensual, desirous and otherworldly. Letissier gives herself to her character, Christine, whose gender-fluidity is both graceful and fervent.

“I initially set out to smash against macho culture and macho men,” says Letissier, of Chris.

“I became obsessed with this idea of the macho man, and still being a woman. What does it mean if I’m this figure, and I’m a woman? Does it make me an aberration? Is it joyful?”

On 5 Dollars, the latest single to be lifted from her new album, Christine becomes American Psycho. It follows her character’s morning routine, from showering and getting dressed to finally leaving the house. There is a scene that focuses directly on Christine’s wardrobe, which is segmented into two sections: suits and bondage. The song is tender and dishevelled and possesses a sense of raw, naked energy that is hard to find in pop music.

In Chris, Letissier has given Christine the same sense of character that Nick Cave, Mick Jagger, Prince and David Bowie are remembered for. She is overtly sexual, captivatingly mysterious and beautifully androgynous. The tracks are electric, lurid and an assault of the senses – all in the best way possible.

Listen to Chris above.