French indie pop darling Héloïse Letissier, known as Christine and the Queens, has made a name for herself as one of the up-and-coming names in pop music. Her 2015 self-titled debut album, also called Chaleur Humaine in Europe, was a major success, receiving rave reviews and peaking at No. 48 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
Now, Letissier has made her return with a new song, “Girlfriend,” to offer up to her fans. The song is a small departure from the singer’s previous work — while her last album offered up electropop bops, the new track features a smooth yet pulsing G-funk sound, thanks to the help of featured guest and G-funk icon Dâm-Funk. CATQ has also simultaneously released a French version of the track, titled “Damn, dis-moi.”
The song follows Letissier as she shows off her more aggressive, sex-driven macho swagger to her newfound lover. “Don’t feel like a girlfriend/But lover/ Damn, I’d be your lover,” she sings, rejecting the stereotypical gender role place on being someone’s “girlfriend.”
“I initially set out to smash against macho culture and macho men,” Letissier said in a statement. “I became obsessed with this idea of the macho man, and still being a woman. What does it mean if I’m this figure, and I’m a woman? Does it make me an aberration? Is it joyful?”
But the singer added that the song itself also aims to accurately represent female desire as it is, not as it is depicted through the male gaze. “I felt I had to address female desire and it’s diversity,” she said. “How sometimes it’s blacked out or ignored. It’s still something quite suspicious or slightly dirty. I felt like it was important to be more unapologetic about that.”
Along with her new single, Letissier is preparing to perform live at Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales on May 27, followed by a European, Canadian and American tour starting in October.
Listen to Christine and the Queens’ new offerings below.