I’m still kicking myself for not walking up to Christine and the Queens to say hi after I caught her very first performance on North American soil at SXSW a few years ago. She was hanging out by the stage after dazzling us with her dance moves and irresistible persona. I could have, I SHOULD have, gone up and said hello. After all, I’d made it a priority to be there for that performance, after falling in love with the French artist’s imaginative music and forward-thinking, convention-breaking music. She’s since become a global sensation, and now, Christine and the Queens is back with long awaited, highly anticipated new music. Girlfriend, a collaboration with Dâm-Funk, is a slick and chic tribute to G-funk that also feels very 90′s R&B. With her new music, Héloïse Letissier is stepping away from her acclaimed debut album Chaleur Humaine, towards what’s described as a more upbeat, tougher, and more minimalist sound. 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.” Listen to the French version of Girlfriend below, entitled Damn, dis-moi. An extensive world tour begins this fall, details can be found, here. Girlfriend is available, here.
 

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