Christine and the Queens - La Vita Nuova EP Review 

Phil Etchells reviews the latest EP feom Christine and the Queens

Philip Etchells
28th March 2020

Héloïse Letissier or simply Chris, of Christine and the Queens has released La Vita Nuova, an ambitious new project she describes as being “vulnerable and personal".

She has said that the process of recording the music and accompanying short film was “cathartic”. It clocks in at just under 22 minutes with six songs - two of which are French and English versions of the same song, I Disappear Into Your Arms). To get an idea of the Chris’ self-described “Freakpop” genre, I listened back to some of the older material, including songs from 2018’s critcally acclaimed album, Chris. Teaming up with Ash Workman, who also co-produced the 2014 debut album Chaleur Humaine, the new EP is more ambitious sonically, harking back to 80s pop music.

Chris sings fluidly between her native French to English and even flirts with Italian, on the tremendous title track, featuring Caroline Polachek. A nod to the origin of the EP’s title, Dante’s 13th century love poetry of the same name. Chris explores the theme of love throughout, but flips Dante’s traditional courtly love on its head and delves deep into struggles such as depression, heartbreak and freedom. 

For the full experience of the new EP, I would recommend watching the short accompanying film. Set in Paris’ Palais Garnier, the story follows Chris as the troubled member of a dance troupe, dancing on the rooftop of the Opera House. The character is pursued throughout by the “Fauna”, a devil-like creature, and the following clips descend through the Opera House to the grand Thriller-esque finale in the basement.

Having never listened to Christine and the Queens before, I was blown away by the music on this EP. Overall, a fantastic creative piece of art that has left me excited for the next Christine and the Queens’ next release.

Rating: 4.5/5

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