Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine review

Christine and the Queens is the unequivocal breakthrough artist of the year. From magazine covers and music awards to performing on stage with Elton John at the Camden Roundhouse: you name it, this lady has been there and got the T-shirt (or likely will do by this time next year).

Chaleur Humaine is the international debut album from this idiosyncratic French musician, whose real name is Héloïse Letissier. It’s a superbly delicate electronic pop album filled with sounds that leave you agog.

Both singer and producer behind this work, Christine has a valiant self-assurance to her. The gentle pulsations, measured violin sighs and Christine’s disarmingly pure vocals make ‘Saint Claude’ one of the year’s most stirring songs. Her tone lies somewhere between the soft tenderness of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano and Blackpool singer Rae Morris. On many of the songs she’ll give you a burst of French in between her sultry English verses (‘No Harm is Done’).

The music itself complements Christine’s experimental nature beautifully, too. From the slow, unfolding melody of ‘Night 52’, to the taut threat of ‘Narcissus is Back’, to the rhythmic, video game-like bloops of ‘Science Fiction’, there is a banquet of delights here. Not everything on Chaleur Humaine will seem quite so fresh if you’re a keen listener of electronic music, or even a recent artist like Shura, but there’s no questioning the talent on show here. A beautiful album from an idiosyncratic and exceptionally individual artist.

Chaleur Humaine is out now on Because Music.

Image: Jeff Hahn/Because Music