In July, the Native Alaskan warmed up the crowd gathered at Wolf Trap as the opening act for Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Julien Baker.
But even before going out on the trio’s Wild Hearts Tour, Christopherson had already started cultivating a queer following by touring as the supporting act for Lucy Dacus, Shura, and Courtney Barnett.
Christopherson first came to prominence after winning NPR’s 5th Annual Tiny Desk Concert in 2018, beating out over 6,000 other entries with “Erase Me,” a hauntingly sparse song that thoughtfully reflected on his own coming out as a transgender man just one year prior.
“Erase Me” is featured as the final track on Christopherson’s full-length debut album, Write Your Name in Pink, which dropped last month.
The set tells more of his backstory and shows off more of his talents across 12 songs characterized by a quiet intensity with deep synth sounds and slow beats that never feel like too much, all supporting his expressive voice. It leaves a strong impression.
Arguably the standout is “Celine,” released as a single at the end of summer, which features the album’s titular phrase as among the things that one does to get ready to perform karaoke down at “that old hole in the wall.” “They said I sounded just like Celine,” he sings sweetly but with full force and in a way that only vaguely reminds you of the famous mononymous superstar by that name.
Next week, Christopherson returns to the area to perform a free concert presented by the Kennedy Center on its Millennium Stage that will also be livestreamed to watch from anywhere.
The setlist will almost certainly include “Good Boy,” a strong single that puts Christopherson’s sardonic sense of humor on full display, taking shots at himself as much as he does other men with a series of pithy observations about modern masculinity and its insecurities over a catchy beat.
Friday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Millennium Stage North, Kennedy Center. Free. Visit www.kennedy-center.org or call 202-467-4600.
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