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Alternative & Indie - Released May 15, 2020 | Matador

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
At first, Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius was likened to Anonhi/Antony Hegarty (Antony & The Johnsons). But as the American released more and more albums, it soon became clear that the universe he was building with his music was far too complex for such a superficial comparison. In 2014, his album Too Bright (co-produced by Adrian Utley from Portishead) gave us a kaleidoscope of sounds that went from Suicide-style electro that was sombre and minimalist to exuberant grandiosity and stopped off on the way for a R.E.M-style ballad. Three years later, No Shape also reflected that same personal eclecticism and Bowie-like musical androgyny. Now, Perfume Genius says his latest album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately was influenced by his collaborative dance project with choreographer Kate Wallich, admitting, “It was dance that blew up this separation between my work and the world”. This realisation led him to reconsider his writing, which he now bases more on everyday life and real people, with influences from a wide range of artists from Townes Van Zandt and Enya to The Cocteau Twins! The album itself is just as diverse as it alternates unexpectedly between Baroque-style ballads and instrumental segments and his vocal palette paints all the colours of the rainbow as he moves from an angelic falsetto in one track to a guttural groan in the next. The soundscape is further enriched by the cello, glockenspiel, Wurlitzer, saxophone and harmonium in this rather elusive but sumptuous album. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Matador

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Trauma and its transformative powers have been at the heart of Perfume Genius' music since the beginning, and in its own way, No Shape is no exception. On early albums like Learning, it felt like Mike Hadreas had to fight through the pain to get out his hushed confessions, while the fierce Too Bright brought his anger to the surface. No Shape finds Hadreas moving toward acceptance, allowing his music to bloom and grow. Musically and emotionally, it's a move that's as bold as Too Bright was, even though this album's sound is more incandescent than its predecessor's molten rage. Producer Blake Mills' Technicolor arrangements and sonic tricks help Perfume Genius make good on the subversive lavishness Too Bright promised: "Otherside" begins the album with a tender piano ballad that feels almost predictable -- until it explodes into glittering choruses that are anything but. From there, Hadreas explores different sounds that reflect the need for change after pain, whether it's the luminous "Slip Away," the psychedelic orchestral synth-pop of "Just Like Love," the daring electro of "Go Ahead," or the brilliant Kate Bush homage "Wreath." This newfound flexibility extends to No Shape's expressions of sensuality, which span the slow-burning trip-hop of "Die 4 You," the late-night sultriness of "Run Me Through," and "Sides," where '80s funk and synth-pop influences, strings, and Weyes Blood's ethereal vocals combine in a swooning, complex standout. However, the most compelling proof of Hadreas' transformed state of mind may lie within No Shape's ballads. On songs like "Every Night" and especially the spine-tingling love song to his partner, "Alan," he sings with the gentleness of someone who's healed after being fragile and broken. Though No Shape shows how much his music has expanded since the Learning days, it also proves he hasn't lost any of his ability to connect with listeners. Instead, it reveals him as a sonic adventurer and truth teller who's made some of his most compulsively listenable music. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 15, 2020 | Matador

At first, Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius was likened to Anonhi/Antony Hegarty (Antony & The Johnsons). But as the American released more and more albums, it soon became clear that the universe he was building with his music was far too complex for such a superficial comparison. In 2014, his album Too Bright (co-produced by Adrian Utley from Portishead) gave us a kaleidoscope of sounds that went from Suicide-style electro that was sombre and minimalist to exuberant grandiosity and stopped off on the way for a R.E.M-style ballad. Three years later, No Shape also reflected that same personal eclecticism and Bowie-like musical androgyny. Now, Perfume Genius says his latest album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately was influenced by his collaborative dance project with choreographer Kate Wallich, admitting, “It was dance that blew up this separation between my work and the world”. This realisation led him to reconsider his writing, which he now bases more on everyday life and real people, with influences from a wide range of artists from Townes Van Zandt and Enya to The Cocteau Twins! The album itself is just as diverse as it alternates unexpectedly between Baroque-style ballads and instrumental segments and his vocal palette paints all the colours of the rainbow as he moves from an angelic falsetto in one track to a guttural groan in the next. The soundscape is further enriched by the cello, glockenspiel, Wurlitzer, saxophone and harmonium in this rather elusive but sumptuous album. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 2014 | Turnstile

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In some ways, Perfume Genius' intimate, unflinching balladry reached its logical conclusion on Put Your Back N 2 It. On that deceptively gentle collection of songs, Mike Hadreas' songwriting gained more agency while opening the door to the possibilitieshe explores to the fullest on Too Bright. With the help of Portishead's Adrian Utley and PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, Hadreas marries his razor-sharp observations with omnivorous music that gives him even more range. If he was empowered on Put Your Back N 2 It, now he's just powerful: on "Queen"'s stately, futuristic glam rock, he subverts homophobia into an alluring weapon as he sings "no family is safe when I sashay" as a proud and predatory monarch. His portraits of victimization are even more vividly drawn as well. "Fool" is a biting examination of the gay best friend as the ultimate accessory to a stylish straight woman's life, setting lyrics like "I made your dress/I'm bleeding out/On the couch you bought/That I picked out" to soulful, finger-snapping pop. Too Bright gives the lushness of Hadreas' previous music fangs and claws, and some of the album's best moments are the most unsettling. "My Body"'s eerie, shuddering physicality invokes the spirit of Harvey's Rid of Me; like that album's highlights, it's equally terrifying and addictive. Things get even more feral on "Grid" and "Longpig," which evokes the Knife with its detached synths and body horror imagery. And while Hadreas' ballads play a supporting role, they feel even more striking and unguarded as they span tender vignettes such as the title track and the heartbreaking "Don't Let Them In," where he sings "In an alternate ribbon of time/My dances were sacred/And my lisp was evidence that I spoke for both spirits" with a raw eloquence that rivals anything on Learning or Put Your Back N 2 It. Equally bold, vulnerable, concise, and expansive, Too Bright dazzles. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 8, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 25, 2020 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 18, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 20, 2012 | ORGANS (Turnstile)

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 16, 2020 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2017 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 21, 2010 | ORGANS (Turnstile)

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 18, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 31, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 14, 2018 | W Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2016 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 29, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 19, 2018 | W Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 16, 2014 | Turnstile