One of the saddest signs of getting older (yeah, that’s the polite way of saying old) is when you stop giving a damn about what new music is being released, and what exciting new musicians are creating brilliant new styles of music and sound out there in the weird and wacky world that we call home. It happened to at some point in the 2010s… or it might have been earlier… I think.

To be honest, I can’t really tell you the point that I stopped actively exploring and caring about hearing new music. I can’t remember a specific day when I remember saying “screw that new sounding stuff”. I don’t know whether it was to do with the rise of online streaming services rather than listening to the radio (which I sadly do less and less these days than at any previous point in my personal history). I don’t know whether it was a conscious decision to stop looking out for new artists and new genres or something that just crept upon me entirely by accident. I think it was probably a slow decline and surely was something that became less and less important in my life as I found myself listening to less radio.

Why? Well, I see radio DJs as guardians of the mystical portal to new music experiences through the decisions that are made when it comes to deciding what music to put on playlist (and what music to leave off). I wonder what amazing and mind-blowing songs I missed during the 70s, 80s and 90s because DJs decided not to include them in their playlists. However, at least decisions were made that resulted in new music being played that got me into countless artists across countless singles and albums and countless musical movements. However, with the advent of streaming services, I found myself in the position of having to make all those decisions myself – yes, they might make recommendations based upon my listening habits but it feels like the choices are more on my shoulders to click on that link or not, often based upon single or album cover image and some often spurious link with some aspect of my music collection. Oh my goodness, this is stupendously difficult. How do I make that choice of musicians that I’ve never heard of? Albums artwork? Recommended albums by whatever algorithm the streaming service uses? Random bleeding luck?

I have to confess that “Tilted” is not a song that I heard first on the radio – I know, damn this blog for a slight cheat. I saw Christine and The Queens on television. What I saw blew my mind.

This is what I saw:

 

I don’t know if it the combination of the dance choreography that was different from the usual pop choreography styling (yeah, you know that stuff that I’m talking about), the French tilt to the vocals (did you see what I did there? thank you very much) or the simple brilliance of the song? Whatever it was that was the magic ingredient, I thought that it was a brilliant piece of pop music.

Amazing!

I’ll die way before Methuselah
So I’ll fight sleep with ammonia
And every morning, with eyes all red
I’ll miss them for all the tears they shed
But I’m actually good
Can’t help it if we’re tilted
I’m actually good
Can’t help it if we

 

It catapulted Christine and The Queens (and just exactly who or what are these mystical Queens, are they the dancers and the makers of the music – and that shows a slightly sexist assumption that Christine herself is not the magical maker of the music, so apologies for that) into pop stardom, resulting in nominations for BRIT awards, and another brilliant performance at the BRIT nominations show.

 

She knows her moves.

I am actually good
Can’t help it if we’re tilted
I am actually good
Can’t help it if we
I am actually good
Can’t help it if we’re tilted

 

Of course “Christine” is not really Christine at all but in fact she is actually Héloïse Letissier – singer, dancer, songwriter and producer, and all round creative and individual free-spirit. There is reason for her “Queens” too! It was upon visiting London in 2010 that she visited some drag queen performances, and adopted the Christine and The Queens stage persona in recognition of the influence of drag queen culture upon her music (and general outlook in life), which she has described as “freakpop”, perhaps reflecting her absolute acceptance of people of all sexualities and genders (as she refers to herself as pansexual). Her initial EP releases were sung in her native French – and the original French language version of “Tilted” was actually called “Christine” and was perhaps the signature, introductory song to the concept of the band.

Even in French, which I don’t speak at all, the song remains incredibly catchy – oh, and take not of that brilliant video performance:

 

However, something extra special happened with it was decided to release an English language version of the song (although still with significant sections still making use of French, perhaps reflecting her very twenty-first century outlook upon life that refuses to be defined by simple labels).

I miss prosthesis and mended souls
Trample over beauty while singing their thoughts
I match them with my euphoria
When they said, “je suis plus folle que toi”

 

When I heard “Tilted”, I admit that I feel in love with the song (and possibly a little with the idea of Christine and her Queens), and found myself playing it many times. Yes, it has synthesised similarities with many 80s artists of my youth, but the unrepentant international nature of the song brought something additional to the mix. Was this after the EU referendum? I don’t know and I don’t care to be honest because I grew up in times when this country (and the people in it) were proud to be outward looking citizens of the world rather than the small-minded protectionist and (worryingly) increasingly racist anti-foreign zealots that seem to have taken control of so much of the hearts and minds of this once-great nation.

Is that putting it too strongly?

Well, that’s how I think and I refuse to be bullied by some new religion that suggests a single referendum is the end of debate and discussion and growth and change.

Wow – that was an unexpected direction to take…

Enjoy the bloody song:

 

Yeah, love it.

Unsurprising really considering that I grew up on Bowie’s androgyny and Roxy’s gutter glamour, and then the joy of the early electronic 80s.

Yeah, I’m pretending to be French and loving it.

So send me your suggestions for new music – I’m ready for it all again.

Thanks Christine!

 

 

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