In 2014, French indie-pop darling Christine and the Queens dropped her self-titled debut album, called Chaleur Humaine, one of the best records of that year, which spawned smashes like “Tilted” and “iT,” among other gems.
Three years later, the enormously talented chanteuse that is Héloïse Letissier unveils “Girlfriend,” the official lead single off her anticipated sophomore follow-up. Written and produced by Letissier herself, the upbeat and joyous-feeling single “pays tribute to her long-time love of the G-funk sound,” according to a statement, and features contributions from an expert in the genre: the one and only Dâm-Funk!
In terms of theme, Christine and the Queens says she “set out to smash against macho culture and macho men. 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.”
The production itself, which is filled with a mesmerizing, swirl of warm summertime beats, disco bass plucks and crashing drums that steadily grow in strength, sort of recalls something you might hear from Shura or a Blood Orange record (a compliment, not a complaint!). It’s crunchy, swirly disco-pop goodness with food for thought.
My soundtrack to my Paris trip in June has been found! P.S: There’s a French version too. You got options.