‘La vita nuova’ doesn’t feel like a huge step forward from Christine and the Queens, but it doesn’t need to be. So perfect was the sound nailed on her previous record that it ended up serving as a template for a wave of pop acts who followed her. This EP, her first solo release in 18 months, is proof that the French superstar will continue to leave her peers in her wake. Caroline Polachek’s presence on the title track is fitting - 2019’s ‘Pang’ felt like a natural sister to ‘Chris’, and with the two artists combining here, the music is naturally elevated to an even higher plane. It’s a standout track not only of this release but of 2020 as a whole - with fluttering synth pads providing a shimmering and danceable pop blockbuster. The lilting Anglo-French vocals and ‘80s bass swells on ‘People, I’ve been sad’, meanwhile, showcase the raw, nostalgic emotion that marks Héloïse Letissier out from her peers. Confined to merely six tracks, the ‘La vita nuova’ EP feels like it ends too soon - and that’s entirely symptomatic of how strong the songwriting is. In 2020, Christine is still truly in a league of her own.