Album Of The Week: Christine and the Queens – Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles

The French singer-songwriter builds a new world in our pick of the week's new releases

Héloïse Letissier doesn’t waste time in bidding his past self goodbye. Within the first few moments of Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles, he promises love and devotion to his ‘beloved’ as he waves them off, and sets about introducing the dreamy, dramatic, disco-inspired sound of Redcar, his new alter-ego.

Named after the red cars that Letissier kept seeing in 2019 after his mother’s death, Redcar brings with him malaise and mystery, parading through the record like a glamorous, heartsick Hollywood star. He draws us in with twinkling synths and droning basses, playing us out on electronic flutes (‘La Chanson Du Chevalier’). Chivalrous, devout and everywhere at once, he is an alluring central figure.

Christine and the Queens - la chanson du chevalier (Official Music Video)

But Redcar is more than just the brooding poster child of this 80s dreamscape. He is consumed by longing and a desire to be held, forever pursuing the object of his desire and begging them to make him eternal promises. Even more antithetical to his sultry, movie star image, he is obsessed with simple, natural things: sunshine on a wall, a seat on a mountain and fresh grass.

In ‘Combien De Temps’, a spacey electro-driven fairytale that describes the pledge of a knight to his lady, he communes with the sun, gives thanks for the stars and dreams of the river. The track ends with three and a half minutes of steady bass line playing under whining instruments and wailing vocalisations – a hypnotic audio realisation of the enchanted plane that Redcar continues to lead us deeper into.

Christine and the Queens presents Redcar - Je Te Vois Enfin (Later with Jools Holland)

At its best, this is what Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles sounds like – an ascension into some mystical otherworld seeped in folklore and magical realism. The best disco music has always felt like a rise, and Letissier demonstrates some truly excellent 80s-era disco in tracks such as ‘Tu Sais Ce Qu’il Me Faut’ and ‘La Clairfontaine’.

Around it he plays with glittering dreampop, dark, moody dance and an electronic sound tinged with retrofuturism. Taken altogether, it epitomises the world that Letissier creates for his new alter-ego – unexpected, fantastical, surprising, and continually inviting.

Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles is available to buy and stream now. Find tickets for upcoming gigs and tours here.