ALBUM REVIEW: Chaleur Humaine by Christine & the Queens


OUT: now

TRACKLIST: iT; Saint Claude; Tilted; No Harm Is Done; Science Fiction; Paradis Perdue; Half Ladies; Jonathan; Narcissus Is Back; Safe and Holy; Night 52; Here.

Breakout hit Tilted is A-Listed at Radio 1 and B-Listed at Radio 2 as we type. But it was quite possibly BBC1’s Graham Norton Show where you first encountered arguably the song of the summer.

  • Read on for how it was monstagigz’ mum who first brought them to our attention

We’re not afraid to say we didn’t quite understand that first British TV performance: the mixture of intense French singing and almost comical, precision dancing jarring for us. It was our mum who waved the flag for the band when we looked on quizzically.

But on the day we discover the Brexit result and that prime minister David Cameron is stepping down is where we first see them live on the Glastonbury Festival’s first Friday and it suddenly all makes sense.

Perhaps it’s the cover of Prince’s I Feel For You or Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam that suddenly catches fire and illuminates the rest of the set from this fine debut album. Neither covers are included on Chaleur Humaine, translated as human warmth.

For us Chaleur Humaine is a less tuneful Robyn (and the comparison is meant as a huge compliment) with far more intense lyrics, verging on the gender-bending, rendered in pop’s best tradition (i.e. deploying much underrated, and superb by the way, formation dancing).

That it’s the album unexpectedly setting the summer’s album charts alight, potentially even going to number one at some point in August, makes that Brexit result just a little more palatable.

We’ll be checking the band out again when they play two nights at O2’s Brixton Academy in November.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Christine and the Queens. More details including November London gigsĀ here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham or check us out on Facebook.


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