Sometimes you hear a piece of music and you immediately react in a visceral way that makes you feel connected with every note and every lyric. It also makes you want to know the artist and climb inside their mind and heart to see if you find a reflection of yourself within them. That was precisely how I felt as I listened to the eponymous English language debut by the French act Christine & the Queens.
The good fortune of being a radio host at SiriusXM is that I have the freedom to hunt down an artist and invite them to share their creative insights on the air. Meeting Heloise Letissier, the mastermind of this entity that is part pop band and part existential performance art piece, proved to be more than any fan of the music could envision.
Heloise conjured the premise of Christine & the Queens from an innate need to connect with fellow folks who would likely be classified as society’s “others,” i.e. the broad thinkers, the artists, the shy kids, and anyone else who could easily be deemed a misfit by the “cool kids” of the world. As she unpacks the fear and insecurity that underlines the ultimate bravery that goes into her music and stage performances, her eyes often fill with tears. Her face goes flush. This is not calculated neurosis. This is a mission that Heloise has undertaken as much for her own sanity and well-being as it is for anyone who might hear it. “I do it because I need to,” she says softly. “And I need it in order to live.”
With those words and that emotion Christine & the Queens rises above the competitive chaos of acts trying be the next hero of today’s youth. The music teaches you that the days of finding heroes in music is different in 2016. We need more than plasticine figures that we can bend to fit or mood. We need reflections of ourselves. In that truth, we find aspiration. We find a way to joy. And it all starts with a song.
– Larry Flick
Photos: Maro Hagopian
Listen to Larry’s full interview with Christine and The Queens: