Chris, the funky French goddess
Born as Héloïse, but known as Chris has a theatre background, studying at Ecole normale superieure de Lyon. Theatre plays a big aspect in Chris’ work, specifically the aesthetics and choreography. Dance is a big part of how Chris tells a story through her music. There is a purity to Chris that I think about in regards to a few other artists, namely Patti Smith. The way Chris uses vocabulary is poetic and phonetically beautiful. With classic pop production infused with funk ad libs and bass, the catharsis that listeners experience is truly special.
The singer/songwriter/ producer, Chris is a force to be reckoned with. Her debut album Chaleur humaine which translates to ‘human warmth’ in 2014 is a gorgeous mix of sounds and styles. The production never battles with the vocals, although some songs fuse together contrasting elements, such in Science Fiction, jarring strings are used with a boppy funky bass. It’s somehow still produces a nostalgic sound as well as being forward thinking and innovative. Tracks like ‘Narcissus is Back’ utilizes ethereal Kate Bush vocals with synths that place the record in the realm of hyper pop.
In 2018, Chris’ second album came, simply titled, Chris. The feel of this album really steps into a full developed sound, in production and song structure. Girlfriend is the ultimate dinner party funk tune then you have the profound and theatric Goya Soda ‘When I was 16, everything was just like this Goya’, this refers to the Spanish painter Francisco Goya’s painting ‘Saturn devouring his son, Saturn’.
Chris’ 2020 EP La Vita Nuova was released in a reaction to her mother’s passing, with a coinciding short film of 13 minutes that takes place in the famed Palais Garnier opera house and portrays an infatuation between Christine and a hellish creature called “The Faun”. It is directed by the French director Colin Solal Cardo and features exquisite choreography and interiors. The EP is performed in acts that Chris performs both solo and with a crew. It’s visually stunning and sonically simulating. There is a consistent rapid energy that flows through the film and that energy set to the lyrically content is what Chris describes herself as a ;baroque daydream’.
Watch the short film here:
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