The whimsical, stylized disco of French alternative dance group L’Impératrice is the brainchild of keyboardist/composer Charles de Boisseguin. After releasing a series of EPs beginning in 2012 and adding a dedicated singer, the band issued their first album, the eclectic Matahari, in 2018. Released in 2021, Tako Tsubo adopted a softer, dreamier aesthetic while remaining entirely danceable.
Formed by de Boisseguin in Paris in 2012, L’Impératrice self-released an eponymous debut EP the same year, leading to a deal with independent label microqlima records. The Paris-based label released the project’s follow-up, the Sonate Pacifique EP, in 2014. In the meantime, the one-time solo effort grew to include second keyboardist Hagni Gwon, guitarist Achille Trocellier, bass player David Gaugué, and drummer Tom Daveau. They added vocalist Flore Benguigui in time for their third EP, 2015’s Odyssée. Inspired by fans playing the record at the wrong speed, it was followed in 2016 by L’Empereur (Odyssée Slow Version). Another edition, this time arranged for acoustic guitar, violin, and cello, arrived in the form of Odyssée (Version Acoustique) in early 2017 before the fourth EP, Séquences, and its companion release Séquences (Remixes) were issued later in the year.
L’Impératrice made their full-length debut with the colorful and mercurial Matahari, issued by microqlima in March 2018. Following a self-titled EP two years later, microqlima issued the band’s second album, Tako Tsubo, in early 2021. It was produced by de Boisseguin with Renaud Letang (Feist, Jane Birkin) and took a dreamier approach more aligned with acts like Munya and Men I Trust. They put their oddball spin on Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Love Me)” later in the year. A pair of collaborations — Everything Eventually Ends with rapper Rejjie Snow and the bilingual Heartquake with bedroom pop artist Cuco — followed in 2022 and 2023, respectively.