Reviews

Christine & The Queens
Chaleur Humaine

(Because)

7/10

Héloïse Letissier throws some serious shapes, and her angular movements and sharp suits give her an androgynous form and an identity she’s happily claimed back home in France for some time.‘Chaleur Humaine’ is set for re-release with songs in English and added tracks, and with Phildelphia’s Tunji Ige and Seattle’s Perfume Genius on board it looks like it’s aimed squarely at the American alt market. There’s more to it than that, though, and Letissier’s creation myth is rooted in a moment – when lost and alone in London, three drag queens took her under their wings and birthed a musical invention.

Letissier never shies away from big themes. The album pushes at boundaries, obliquely dealing with feminism, gender identity and queer culture, particularly on ‘iT’. ‘Chaleur Humain’ is a synthy affair; a round-trip of electro outposts, from glitchy numbers like ‘Science Fiction’ to softer ruminations like ‘Paradis Perdus’. The stand out is ‘Jonathan’ (feature Perfume Genius), bringing out Letissier’s prosaic and experimental side, and playing to the strengths of Mike Hadreas’ dark, frisson-filled vocals. Both artists plaintively ask: “Can you walk with me in the daylight?”

Letissier is an empowering figure, and that can sometimes mean music becomes an avenue to explode down. What’s so striking about this album is its restraint. Letissier holds back enough to make you crawl deeper into her world.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.