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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 February 20, 2012 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2014 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
CD€13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
CD€13.99

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 December 6, 2010 | Matador

Perfume Genius is a strangely perfect name for Mike Hadreas' music. Like scent, his songs are delicate but strong, faint yet persistent, and have a deep, almost inexplicable emotional pull. On his debut album, Learning, Hadreas comes across like the kid brother of Antony Hegarty or Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart, taking the vulnerability of a singer/songwriter to an extreme with messed-up and heartbreaking stories. Yet, despite Hadreas' shaky, at times barely audible vocals, there’s an ease to his confessions that makes him unique; as uncomfortable as his subjects can be, he doesn’t play them for shock value. Instead, he embraces the disturbing and the heartfelt equally, accepting that caring can be creepy with a matter-of-factness that makes it all the more powerful. Hadreas sings “It’s all part of his plan” over whirling synths on the album closer, “Never Did,” and it’s equally likely that he’s referring to a benevolent higher power or something more tangible and sinister. “Mr. Peterson” sketches out a friendship (possibly more) with a teacher and treats his suicide with evenhanded compassion: “I hope there’s room for you up above or down below.” Learning gives its sometimes hard words soft surroundings, either cushioning them with ethereal synths and music boxes on “No Problem” or allowing his piano to reverberate around them with an almost hymnal quality, as on the bittersweet lullaby “When.” At times Hadreas' songs suggest personal notes or diary entries set to music -- not because they’re too literal, but because of the emotional weight implied in them. He reveals only the smallest but most telling parts of his stories, playing cat and mouse with details and telling gaps: on “Write to Your Brother,” the lyric “Tell him mom treats you like a lover/That you have to hide all the mouthwash from her” says it all. But what makes Hadreas' songwriting remarkable is the empathy he holds for his characters. “Perry” does a chiaroscuro dance between hope and despair, but ends the song with the line “Whatever good is left/Put your trust in it/You know we already have.” As dark as Learning’s songs can get, it always feels like Hadreas wants the best for the people he sings about, and a good, ultimately hopeful kind of sadness permeates nearly every song. Not even half an hour long, Learning shows just what a strong impression music so fragile can make. © 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 March 16, 2020 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2017 | Matador

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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 October 21, 2014 | Matador