Christine and the Queens

2020 was chock full of hit singles by woman artists from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion to Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Fiona Apple, Taylor Swift, and the list goes on. But rising to #3 on Rolling Stone’s Songs of the Year, and #1 on Time Magazine’s list, is “People, I’ve Been Sad” by Christine and the Queens. Christine and the Queens, though sometimes simply Chris, is the stage name of French singer, songwriter, producer Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier.

I first saw her perform a couple of years ago, watching one of those Jools Holland shows that runs and re-runs on MTV Live. Here’s the official video of “Tilted”, the song I saw her perform, featuring her signature combination of hypnotic pop music and creative choreography. “Tilted” was the top single from her first studio album, 2014’s Chaleur humaine (Human Warmth).

Here’s a live performance of “Girlfriend” from the 2019 Glastonbury Festival. The song is from her second full-length album, 2018’s Chris. After watching this, you’re gonna want to see her in concert once we can do that sort of thing again.

Finally, here’s the choreography-free video for “People, I’ve Been Sad”. Released in February 2020 it arrived just in time to channel the loneliness of the pandemic year, though clearly written from pain that preceded recent events.

Back in the Saddle!

After a extended hiatus for most of 2015, Music Now & Then is mounting a comeback for 2016!  Please send your encouragement, and I’ll try to keep the posts coming.

Though it might fairly be said that 2015 will not go down as one of the most memorable years for new music, there is plenty to catch up on over the next few weeks.  A fun place to start is this mashup by DJ Earworm.  “50 Shades of Pop” is the ninth installment in his annual series of retrospectives.  This year he samples from the top 50 songs in Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100. While The Hot 100 is not typical grist for Music Now & Then, this mix gives a nice feel for what you’ll be hearing if you watch the music award shows in the months ahead. The first voice you hear is a single word from Adele.

DJ Earworm’s first effort in this vein was 2007’s “United States of Pop”, but he only dug 25 deep into that year’s pop stack.  Rihanna was exploding that year, and Adam Levine started sporting that tux!  Instead of Adele, the first voice you hear is Jay Z.

If you want to dig deeper into the history of these mashups and get DJ Earworm’s views on the underlying music trends, this recent article on Vox.com is what got me going on this post.  Enjoy, and it’s good to be back!