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> Christine and the Queens • Chaleur Humaine
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dandy*
post Jan 31 2015, 01:30 PM
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So I think this is the best album released last year to never get a mention on here. I've been obsessing over this for the past two months and am just never getting tired of it, it's just so infectious and full of beauty, not least because half of it is in French. It's one of those albums that just grows stronger with each listen so keep with it if it doesn't quite click first listen. There have been two singles released so far, Saint Claude and Christine, both have particularly striking videos along the same theme... something I'm hoping she keeps running with as it's just so quirky and addictive - it's been ages since I've watched a youtube clip as often as I have for Christine, it reminds me of something Feist would do and that's clearly no bad thing at all... If you like these then I'd really recommend the album, personal faves are Science Fiction, Paradis Perdus, Ugly-Pretty, Chaleur Humaine and Narcissus Is Back.

Listen to the full album here

Saint Claude


Christine






An interview lifted from the Guardian about how she found her style and voice...

A young female singer who found inspiration in the performances of London's drag artists has become the summer sensation of the French music scene.

This weekend sees the debut LP from Héloïse Letissier, the performer also known as Christine and the Queens, who is already behind a series of critically acclaimed hits, accompanied by some startling videos. Her rapid ascent to national prominence led to admiring profiles in French newspapers Le Monde and Libération last week but although her reflective songs and audacious creative philosophy sound about as French as it is possible to imagine, the original inspiration for Letissier's act came from England. Her English stage name and subversive attitude to the sexual conventions of the music industry bear testament to her love of British counter-culture.

After an unproductive period at drama school, Letissier came to London "in exile" in 2010 and befriended a trio of transgender "singing drag queens" in a London club. "They convinced me to attempt singing. They were my Queens," she has said, adding in an interview on Friday, "they had an incredible freedom and they showed me there is no need to check yourself because of other people."

Two years ago, her efforts were rewarded in France with the prestigious Découvertes du Printemps de Bourges award for the best new act, among other prizes.

Although she performs alone, as her alter ego of Christine, she sees herself as representing a force ranged against the cliche of the pretty pop stars. Letissier's creative holy grail, she told Libération last week, would be to be perceived by the public as "a silhouette, a presence", more than a singer.

Her act, as seen in her video for the song Saint Claude, is polished and restrained – and determinedly asexual. She wears a trouser suit and expresses herself, like Michael Jackson (one of her artistic heroes), through the precise movements of her hands and feet.

"Usually, I speak with my hands," she told French media last week. Those hands bear unnerving tattoos taken from Tod Browning's cult 1932 film, Freaks, set in a sideshow: "One of Us", one hand reads, and the other, "We accept you".

Letissier says she is full of mutable identities and the suits she wears are designed to help her neutralise any sexuality that might be projected on to her. Her sense of her own gender, she has explained, fluctuates. "I feel like a man in the morning but a girl in the evening. When I fall in love it is with a personality, not a gender," she said.

Born near Nantes in 1988, Letissier's father was a professor of English literature and her mother taught French and Latin. She played the piano from an early age and remembers an obsession with performance. Classical dance training that began when she was five ended early with a painful foot injury and modern jazz took over for a while.

"As a young woman I wanted to create a character who was outside the classic codes of seduction because I did not feel at ease with them," she has said. After studying drama at Lyon, she found she was not "comfortable" with the limitations of acting. "I did not like submitting to the artistic vision of others," she said.

Her stage persona is in the playful tradition of English singer Jane Birkin during her period singing Serge Gainsbourg hits in the 1960s, but her style is more confrontational and less naive.

When an interviewer from Le Monde recently compared her to Canadian-born French star Mylène Farmer, Letissier was not impressed either. "No, she is sex. Me, I'm not very sexualised." She has, all the same, inherited strong influences from the unorthodox history of the European cabaret and chanteuse scene, most obviously from the stage persona of the androgynous Marlene Dietrich.

And, although Letissier claims to admire modern mainstream stars, such as Kanye West and Beyoncé, she does admit that Ziggy Stardust, the non-specifically gendered 1972 incarnation of David Bowie, also fascinates her. Letissier is following a long line of celebrated male impersonators, including Vesta Tilley and the American Ella Shields, who found fame in the West End in the early 1900s.

The French singer, dancer, performance artist and composer, who is 26 this year, lives alone in the brash 19th arrondisement of Paris, near Pigalle, with her two cats and finds it hard to keep friends. She is often melancholy and says she is obsessed with death: "I've already thought about it. I have even tried it, but it didn't work," she told Libération.

"For me, real life is art on the stage; I want to disappear into it. I don't like me, but I like what I become when I make something."


Should you have made it this far and still approve and want to explore further, she also had a previous EP entitled Nuit 17 À 52 of which The Loving Cup was the lead track and highlight:



This post has been edited by مدهش*: Jan 31 2015, 01:35 PM
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152chris
post May 31 2015, 12:44 AM
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caught her live tonight and I've honestly never seen anyone so worth the hype. perfect in every way.
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RabbitFurCoat
post Dec 1 2015, 11:07 PM
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Can't say anything has really impressed me before but Jonathan with Perfume Genius is perfection

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dandy*
post Dec 3 2015, 09:58 PM
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I love that too, much like the rest of her album it just grows and grows with each listen. wub.gif
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152chris
post Dec 4 2015, 10:41 AM
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french chaleur humaine has been taken off streaming and replaced by what looks like an english re release (mash up of new songs and old translated ones) not available until APRIL

BOO IN ALL DIRECTIONS
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dandy*
post Dec 4 2015, 11:08 AM
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Boo indeed. 'Christine' has been replaced by 'Tilted' which is the English version. i.e. NOT AS GOOD.
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dandy*
post Dec 5 2015, 02:01 PM
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I had no idea this cover existed until just now...



My favourite MJ song wub.gif
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Hayzayy
post Jun 20 2016, 07:04 PM
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I'm surprised none bumped this thread after her performance on Graham Norton !



Flawless wub.gif

The album has climbed into the top10 cheer.gif
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Jade
post Jun 20 2016, 07:24 PM
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Crazy to see her doing so well on UK iTunes ohmy.gif That performance was amazing exposure!

Mainly know her through 'Saint Claude' from BJSC, which is an absolute beaut wub.gif
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gooddelta
post Jun 20 2016, 07:39 PM
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That was a fantastic performance actually...persuaded me to download the album, it's only £4.99 on Google Play right now.

Tilted is an excellent song.
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152chris
post Jun 20 2016, 08:21 PM
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she is incredible. the choreography every TIME
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Cameron
post Jun 20 2016, 11:06 PM
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So Good wub.gif
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White Mustang
post Jun 21 2016, 11:04 AM
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iT is by FAR her best song for me. But I love Tilted (easy second best), so I'm soooo pleased at how this performance has helped her.
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Mart!n
post Jun 21 2016, 11:28 AM
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Not even a bad track on the album, been playing it all week, I love Saint Claude wub.gif and Tilted is another great track and Jonathan (with Perfume Genius), been aware of her for some quite time. The album is really worth buying/ downloading especially for £4.99, you definitely won't be disappointed.
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dandy*
post Jun 21 2016, 09:31 PM
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Loving the appreciation in this thread - been listening to the album on holiday and it is still as great as it was wub.gif
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Cameron
post Jun 21 2016, 09:33 PM
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I bought the last physical copy today in HMV after listening on Spotify Yesterday! What a stellar album
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Math ☂
post Jun 21 2016, 09:34 PM
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Saw her open for Marina a few months back ~ WHAT a talent. So excited for their next album as I love this one!
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dandy*
post Jun 21 2016, 10:01 PM
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Marina & Christine at the same gig? Perfection right there.
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lewistgreen
post Jul 27 2016, 08:43 AM
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Thoroughly in love with this album now. It takes a while for an artist to click with me properly and that has definitely happened here.
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dandy*
post Jul 27 2016, 07:12 PM
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wub.gif

To think this looks like being a top 2 album in the UK, I would never have believed you if you'd have told me that last year. So unbelievably pleased for her (and us!) though.
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