Christine and the Queens relish the “honor” of “throwing into this epic with them.” The French artist, now gendered as masculine, appears on Loss of Life, the 5th album by MGMT, an American duo whose songs are regularly viral on TikTok.

Little dark age, a piece from 2017, thus experienced a new life on this platform during the health crisis in 2020. And today, Time to pretend, released for the first time in 2005, before a successful relaunch in 2007, benefits from ‘new life. TikTok here becomes a sounding board for the recent exhibition of this title in the film Saltburn, on Prime Video. These two tracks have respectively accumulated more than 600 million and nearly 400 million plays on Spotify, the world leader in music streaming. Closing the gap on their hit Kids which has more than 750 million plays.

Time will tell if one of the songs from Loss of Life, an album released at the end of February, six years after the last delivery, will in turn experience a similar phenomenon. Loss of life means “Loss of life” and forms the acronym “Lol”, also used worldwide as a mocking “death of laughter”. A signature pirouette from Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, who have refused to let themselves be labeled since the birth of their duo in the early 2000s at a university in Connecticut.

Since the release of their first album Oracular spectacular, in 2007, they had never invited an artist on one of their songs. So it’s a done deal with Christine and the Queens, who we hear and see appear on Dancing in Babylon. “I was seduced by their way of working, a bit total, visual and theatrical, I felt at ease, and invited for who I was,” explains the Frenchman to AFP.

The MGMT prefer to juggle with a psychedelic vocabulary, even in a press release evoking for the clip “a cosmic mille-feuille which would do very well in high-end French restaurants”. “The story branches out into a multiverse that intertwines fantasy and real lives,” continues Christine and the Queens, who appears in the album as the singer of a group straight from the 1980s and, in another part, a member of a squad of retro-futuristic soldiers. It also did me good to let myself be at the service of a universe other than mine, to rediscover the sensations of joyful abandonment that you can have as the interpreter of a role.”

A fleeting sequence also refers to the ravages of the early years of AIDS in the USA. A theme that also resonated in the latest projects of Christine and the Queens. The image of a pop mille-feuille sticks in any case to the whole album which also includes Mother nature and Bubblegum dog, the clip full of nods to emblematic groups of the 1990s like the Smashing Pumpkins or Soundgarden. “I believe that the search for this album is also linked to intimacy, to be two in a thousand possibilities, to never let go, to pure romanticism filtered by their aesthetic which remains personal to them,” concludes Christine and the Queens.