Miss Christine is ready to take listeners beneath the surface to show how first impressions are usually little more than illusions.
Christine Moad (they/them), an Iowa bassist and singer-songwriter who records under the moniker Miss Christine, has shed societal expectations in recent years as they’ve explored their genderqueer identity. “Can’t See,” their new single released Wednesday to coincide with the first day of Pride Month, documents part of that journey.
“We often can’t see internal self growth,” Moad said. “This song is a celebration of that. It’s realizing your self-worth and that you have the power to change your external situation, but in order to get there you have to have that realization that you’re worthy of greater things.”
The track strikes a defiant tone as Miss Christine takes direct aim at the illusions they struggle to leave behind. The narrator of the song finally escapes the illusions through self-discovery and acceptance. Bold electric guitar and synths underpin Moad’s characteristically melodic lead vocal, providing a muscular soundscape that emphasizes the confrontation between the narrator and the illusions that haunt their psyche.
New album Bittersweet
“Can’t See” is the lead single from Miss Christine’s forthcoming album Bittersweet, which will be available on CD at Miss Christine shows starting in June. Vinyl copies will arrive later this year, and a digital release will follow in 2023.
The album, like the lead single, moves beyond the misguided perceptions that Moad battles, from themselves and others, in order to find a more truthful perspective.
“This album illustrates the story arc of my musical life,” Moad said. “It tells a story of overcoming societal expectations and external beliefs that I once thought applied to me because I look like a woman or because I’m a bassist. But that’s just what was projected onto me by society and that’s not actually how I feel. I’ve been able to overcome those, and that’s ultimately what makes this album a new sound and a new thing.”
Bittersweet was recorded in complete isolation, with each musician recording their parts via an online app from points as distant as Massachusetts and Tennessee, due to the pandemic. The musicians were never in the same room together at any point in the recording process. Moad said they’re happy with the result, but they hope they never have to record an album in that way again.
“For me, music is all about community,” Moad said. “It’s about coming together and working out ideas and speaking in this language together. Recording virtually severely limited our ability to do that.”
In that sense, Bittersweet reflects many of the frustrations and anxieties of pandemic-era life, but it also captures a songwriter finding their voice amid the turmoil and overcoming the challenges of the day to get their message out.
“I’ve come to terms with more of who I am,” Moad said. “I’m allowing my music to be even more authentic. I didn’t necessarily know about all these things on my last album. Now I’m so sure of who I am.”
About Miss Christine
Christine Moad (they/them) shatters preconceived notions and societal expectations with their music.
Moad, a bassist and singer-songwriter recording under the moniker Miss Christine, blends indie rock with blues and soul influences delivered with defiant punk attitude to open listeners’ minds to possibilities beyond the gender binary. Their exploration of their own genderqueer identity inspires their lyrics, resulting in songs that are both intensely personal while simultaneously challenging the harmful stereotypes and expectations associated with gender and sexuality. Even the name Miss Christine turns the gender binary on its head. The “Miss” has nothing to do with womanhood and everything to do with absence and longing. In this case, it’s the longing for truth and freedom from misguided external perceptions.
Maybe you’ll “miss” the old Christine you thought you knew, but the authentic Christine isn’t letting that stop them from speaking their truth.
Christine Moad has traveled the world from Tennessee to Monaco as a professionally touring bassist. They attended the Berklee College of Music before gaining experience as a session musician in Nashville. Christine defied expectations yet again by leaving Nashville behind for a farm near Iowa City where they write and record their original songs. Miss Christine released their debut solo album, Conversion, in 2019. The follow up, “Bittersweet,” is now available on CD with a digital release set for 2023.
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