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Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday's French music break - Christine and the queens, "Nuit 17 à 52"

Friday's French music break this week is something a little special.

It's "Nuit 17 à 52" from a real all-round talent, Héloïse Letissier, who has chosen another of those daft English names as her professional "alias" - Christine and the queens.

But that's all there is that's "daft" about  Letissier who is not just a singer-songwriter.

Christine and the queens (Héloïse Letissier) screenshot from "Nuit 17 à 52" official video

The 25-year-old has a Masters in theatre studies  (Nanterre) obtained while she was also studying in Lyon at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and taking acting classes at the city's Conservatoire.

She cites among her musical influences artists such as Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Andy Kaufman, Klaus Nomi, Michael Jackson and "Gainsbarre" - a mixed bunch much which inevitably manifests itself in her music which is "pop" without being inane (yes it's possible)

In other words eclectic and focused on the presentation.

There's also the visual side to her live performances, described as "ambitious" and those highly polished androgynous videos to accompany her songs.

Christine and the queens is Letissier's project to, in her own words, put a whole package together and not just about making music.

"I like music that's accompanied by videos, drawings, photographs," she said in a 2011 interview.

"I could not just write songs and put them on MySpace. Christine (whom Letissier sees almost as her alter ego and capable of doing everything she cannot do) is a bit narcissistic, and as soon as she puts her mind to something, she does it."

Yes. Maybe Letissier takes herself and her "act" too seriously - or perhaps not seriously enough.

Talent she has - and it has been recognised.

In 2011 she was a finalist at the Inrocks Lab, an annual showcase for new French music talent and a year later won the Best Discovered Act at the prestigious annual music festival Le Printemps de Bourges in 2012.

And at the recent Les Victoires de la musique, along with winners Woodkid, Letissier was one of the four acts nominated in the category "Group or artist stage révélation of the year". The other two acts were Albin De La Simone and 1995.


So far, as Christine and the queens,  Letissier has released three EPs including most recently "Nuit 17 à 52" which includes apart from the title track, "The loving cup", "Starshipper", "Wandering lovers" and her cover version of William Sheller's "Photos souvenirs"

Christine and the queens (Héloïse Letissier) screenshot Les Victoires de la musique


 An album - her first - is promised for release at the end of April.

Anyway, here's "Nuit 17 à 52", both the live performance during Les Victoires de la musique and the official video.

Take a listen to both - a good musical start to the weekend.

Have a good one!





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