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Christine and the Queens

Primavera Sound 2019

By Sergio Pulido 17.05.19

Another year, another Primavera Sound, and another controversy. This year the festival has been given a stylistic shake-up that has caught everyone off guard. While there were clues during last year’s edition with the mainstream pop artists like Lorde, this time it’s all out (oh, the sacrilege), a programme featuring THE most popular genre of the moment: reggaeton. This is not the place to go into the controversy of whether this music is compatible with the history of a festival that started as a kind of Indie puritan oasis, but neither will we stop to look at figures from a genre that this writer thinks are often both vulgar, macho, and of little musical worth. The ten artists that we are going to recommend can fit into the tradition of the festival and could well have been programmed in any of its previous editions.

Another important feature of the line-up this year is that 50% are women artists or LGTBI. Within this second category we can count Héloïse Adelaide Letissier, better known as Christine and the Queens, the band name for a soloist from Nantes, France, whose second album "Chris", published last year, has catapulted her into the stratosphere of Francophone pop and has opened the doors of world Indie pop to her. "Chris" is an album of funky eighties sounds influenced by the beats of Michael and Janet Jackson, where Héloïse abandons her rather long previous nickname and decides to call herself after her record, presenting herself like a pansexual garçonne, with an image that’s a bit S&M, featuring very direct lyrics that speak specifically about those topics.

  • Christine and the Queens ©Jamie Morgan

    But it’s not just about the image, Chris playing live also picks up the Jacksonian legacy of doing choreography with the wireless microphone hanging around her neck, and the show includes dancers in addition to the band. It’s like a revival of the eighties with a very strong modern queer presence and a wonderful voice. She is already a star in her native country and was within the top 5 albums of last year as chosen by such prestigious publications as Pitchfork and The Guardian. It is, undoubtedly, one of the shows we are most looking forward tp. Long live Chris.

    Christine and the Queens play on Thursday, May 30 at Primavera Sound.