Who: Nantes native Héloïse Letissier, better known by her stage name Christine and the Queens and her alter ego Chris, has been releasing feminist, queer and thought-provoking French pop since 2011. The gender-bending star’s lyrics actively buck convention, challenging social constructions of gender roles, sexuality, femininity and beauty. “I think I’m exploring things further … about my desire and my lust, my will to exist as [I am],” she told Tonedeaf.com. “I’m still facing resistance to that. So there are still things that need to be pushed further.”
Breaking down stereotypes: Dressed in masculine threads but still exuding raw feminine power (she’s got serious pipes and is also a professional dancer), Letissier’s identity is central to her music. Last year’s LP, Chris, is a fierce and effervescent ode to resistance and defiance, in which the singer regularly calls out the male gaze and inequality rooted in tired expectations of beauty and sexual double standards. “I’m like, ‘I’m not designed to serve your pleasure all the time,’” she said in the Tonedeaf.com interview. “It’s that small detail that is amplified, and it’s constant in a woman’s life.”
Sound: Sensual, syncopated synths and drum machines hypnotize under Letissier’s icy-cool vocals. Fans of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rhye, M83 and Dorian Electra will fall in love with the ’80s-influenced dance sounds of Chris, which you can hear in both French and English.
Spin first: “Doesn’t Matter,” “Girlfriend” (featuring Dâm Funk), “The Walker,” “Tilted” and “iT.”
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS Opening for Florence + The Machine. May 17, 7:30 p.m., $40-$110, T-Mobile Arena, 702-692-1600.