CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS today makes her eagerly anticipated comeback with new single Girlfriend, available to stream and download now via Because Music.
Debuted as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record In The World’ on BBC Radio 1, Girlfriend is Christine and the Queens’ first new song since her already iconic debut record Chaleur Humaine, released to near-universal acclaim in France in 2014 and the UK in 2016, and having sold more than 1.3 million copies to date.
If Chaleur Humaine was an introduction to Christine and the Queens AKA Héloïse Letissier, then ‘Girlfriend’ is a bold declaration of the next chapter in her story. She’s stepping away from her debut album towards a tougher, more minimalist, and more upbeat sound, which finds its most direct expression on ‘Girlfriend’. The track – written and produced by Letissier- pays tribute to her long-time love of the G-funk sound, and in order to get it exactly right, she tracked down one of its pioneers, Dâm-Funk, and asked him to sing and play on it.
“Don’t feel like a girlfriend, but lover, damn, I’d be your lover.”
Not only does the sound have a newfound muscle, so too does the tone, which marks a naked shift of energy, from the “teenage years” mood that fuelled much of her debut, towards a more provocative and exhilarating expression of confidence, sex, anger, lust, and, crucially, macho swagger. Throughout, ‘Girlfriend’ questions identity and plays with the performance of gender, and how the codes of ‘masculinity’ are disrupted if the player isn’t a man.
“I initially set out to smash against macho culture and macho men,” says Letissier. “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?”
The song, too, is overwhelmed with desire. “I felt I had to address female desire and it’s diversity,” she says. “How sometimes it’s blacked out or ignored. It’s still something quite suspicious or slightly dirty. I felt like it was important to be more unapologetic about that.
“There are hints of nights spent having sex and coming back covered in sweat. Like a male figure, the young hero who has love stories, and comes back in the morning and his friends are like: “What happened to you?” I want to be that.”
Christine and the Queens will perform at Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, UK, on Sunday 27 May. She has announced a full tour of Europe, Canada and the United States for the winter. See below for the full list of dates. See christineandthequeens.com for ticket information.
UK Tour Dates
17 November – BOURNEMOUTH – BIC
20 November – LONDON – EVENTIM APOLLO – SOLD OUT
21 November – LONDON – EVENTIM APOLLO – SOLD OUT
23 November – GLASGOW – ROYAL CONCERT HALL
24 November – EDINBURGH – USHER HALL
26 November – BIRMINGHAM – O2 ACADEMY
27 November – MANCHESTER – O2 APOLLO
30 November – DUBLIN – RDS