Song of the Day, July 28: Tilted by Christine and the Queens

christine-and-the-queens-album-cover-2015-billboard-1000x1000Today’s song is a perfect summary of its performer’s journey. Héloïse Letissier was born in Nantes, France in 1988. She studied theatre in Lyon and Paris, moving to London after graduation to escape a broken romance. There she met local drag star Russella, who inspired her to assume the persona of Christine to channel her art. Drawing power from the drag and queer scene — she’s also a huge fan of RuPaul — she added “and the Queens” to her stage name when she returned to France. She recorded a couple of EPs, then her debut album Chaleur humaine. Seeking a wider audience and more artistic challenges, she reworked that disc into the mixed English and French Christine and the Queens on Because Music in 2015.

The standout track is a sort of mission statement. Entitled Christine in the French version, Tilted is a powerful statement of independence and making the most of uncertainty. Christine’s work is a mix of dance, music, and theatre, grounded in her lyrical explorations of gender and identity. It’s a magical mix, presenting complex ideas in catchy, danceable pop frameworks. No wonder Time named this song one of the best of last year.

I liked translating this song because the idea is the same in French and in English. It’s about making a pop song with a subject that’s not really funny or cool. It’s about making an easy song with an uneasy subject. It’s about feeling out of place, not finding your balance, or being depressed even, but with playful images, with a song you can dance on.

Enjoy this delightful song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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