Perfume Genius

Full Discography

LPs
  • Put Your Back N 2 It - OLE-964 - 2012-02-21
  • Learning - OLE-942 - 2010-06-22

Biography

Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius, aka Seattle native Mike Hadreas, cemented his place as a singer-songwriter of rare frankness, creating songs that, while achingly emotional, offered empathy and hope, rather than judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas’ quavering vocals often only accompanied by piano, 2010’s Learning and 2012’s Put Yr Back N 2 It told uncommonly beautiful tales of a life lived on the dark side – 

Too Bright, however, is something else altogether. Less self-conscious, and less concerned with storytelling and easily-digested melodies, it is a bold and unpredictably quixotic exploration of what Hadreas calls “an underlying rage that has slowly been growing since age ten and has just begun to bubble up”. This sharp U-turn came early in the writing process, when Hadreas grew creatively frustrated and uninspired writing what he thought people might want to hear – as he describes it, “mid-tempo Adele songs, carefully plotting each chord and lyric like math” –and focused instead on writing what came naturally, 100% visceral and unfiltered, no matter what the potential reception might be. “I looked to PJ Harvey,” he recalls, “how powerful and raw she can be, and thought, ‘what is my version of that?’”

The resultant album is a stunning about-face which brings to mind audacious career-shift albums like Kate Bush’s The Dreaming or Scott Walker’s Tilt, records which walk the tightrope between pure songwriting and overt experimentation. Here, Hadreas is aided in his efforts by not one, but two unlikely conspirators – John Parish, who plays drums on several tracks, and Portishead’s Adrian Utley, who, as producer, brought the physical resources to flesh out the songs ininnovative ways. According to Hadreas, Utley was the key to unlocking unexplored terrain on the album, using both synths and organic instrumentation to push the tracks to darker and more unreal heights. The album is also rounded off with key contributions from longtime touring band members Alan Wyffels and Hervé Bécart. The fragile yet defiant “I Decline” opens the album, draped in hushed, languorous beauty, but it is an outlier. On the following track (and first single) “Queen”, the line “Don’t you know your queen?” booms out over ominous guitars, not so much a genuine question as a rhetorical one, as Hadreas proceeds to deconstruct gay panic with relish. Even with a wordless (albeit soaring and cacophonous) symphony of a chorus it sounds huge and anthemic, a gleeful kiss-off. He says, “I sometimes see faces of blank fear when I walk by...if these fucking people want to give me some power – if they see me as some sea witch with penis tentacles that are always prodding and poking and seeking to convert the muggles – well, here she comes”. 

That mischievous sense of defiance runs rampant through the album. A surreal threat hangs over songs like “My Body” and “Grid”, with piercing screams, tribal drums and electronic stabs highlighting disturbing lyrics of self-destruction and temporary respite from the darkness. On “Fool,” meanwhile, deceptively swinging doo-wop rhythms disguise a story of social mutiny,  with Hadreas tearing into the stereotype of “a walking, talking candelabra”, and rejecting it for something much more volatile and dangerous. “I've met people that laugh at EVERYTHING I say,” he muses. “I could be talking about OJ or Munchausen’s Syndrome or bloody stool – I am still just the cutest thing. Here only to enrich their lives, not have one of my own. Make their dress, tell them how great their boobs look and then peace. Isn't he the best?”

Which is not to say that Hadreas has completely abandoned the shimmering, exquisite piano ballads that he is so known for. “No Good” is a heartbreaking meditation on a difficult life lived on the outside but “spent looking in”, while the somber closer “All Along” is a resigned yet firm rebuke to acceptance and reassurance from external forces, preferring instead to find refuge from within – “I have my love,” Hadreas asserts, “and I apply it where I need to”.

This, in fact, is the overarching theme of Too Bright; the connective tissue loosely joining up these 11 stunning, weird and wonderful tracks – the discovery of strength and power where previously he felt he had little. As he puts it, during the making of the album, it felt “like I had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise.” With this record, consider the demon awoken.

News From The Matablog

Perfume Genius - 'Too Bright', Streaming Today At NPR First Listen



'Too Bright', the 3rd album from Perfume Genius is out one week from tomorrow (September 23) and is streaming in full today via NPR First Listen.  NPR's Jacob Ganz, while suggesting the Adrian Utley / Ali Chant helmed-recording was "designed to overwhelm", calls Mike Hadreas' masterwork, "awe-inspiring". 



(photo by Luke Gilford)

Over at The New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones is equally effusive in his praise, opining that 'Too Bright' is "a profoundly beautiful record that remains intense throughout its brief, thirty-three-minute running time" ("one of the most encouraging albums of the moment, in its delivery of exuberant sounds by a spiky, unbiddable performer. It is outside most conceptions of pop, whether gay or straight; emotional heaviness isn’t an easy sell, no matter who you are. Hadreas is developing not by becoming easier to like but by becoming more fully himself. If it’s hard to take, the warning is right there in the title").  The New Yorker's "Annals Of Sound" features Hadreas performing 'Too Bright''s "I Decline".




Preorder 'Too Bright' from the following : 
The Matador Store (LP & CD) 
iTunes (receive "Queen" and "Grid" instantly)
Perfume Genius.net

Amazon
Amazon MP3
Google Play

Tour Dates : 

September
9 – Locomotiv Club, Bologna  Italy
26 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City UT
27 - Hi Dive - Denver CO
29 - Riot Room - Kansas City MO
30 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis MN

October
1 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago IL
2 - Magic Stick - Detroit MI
4 - Virgin Mobile Mod Club - Toronto ON
6 - Brighton Music Hall - Allston  MA
7 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn NY
8 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia PA
9 - The Hamilton - Washington DC
10 - Cat's Cradle Back Room - Carrboro NC
11 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta GA
13 - Three Links - Dallas TX
14 - The Parish - Austin TX
16 - Club Congress - Tucson  AZ
17 - Soda Bar - San Diego  CA
19 - Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles CA
21 - The Independent - San Francisco CA
22 - Harlow's - Sacramento CA
24 - Mississippi Studios - Portland OR
25 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle WA

November
11 - La Maroquinerie, Paris France
12 - Exile, Zurich, Switzerland
13 - Le Romandie, Lausanne Switzerland
14 - Depot, Leuven Belgium
16 - Vega, Copenhagen Denmark
17 - Lido, Berlin German
18 - Pret-a-ecouter Festival, Heidelberg Germany
19 - Bitterzoet, Amsterdam Holland
21 - Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht Holland
23 - Caves, Edinburgh UK
24 - The Wardrobe, Leeds UK
25   - Oobleck, Birmingham UK
26 - The Haunt, Brighton UK
27 - Islington Assembly Hall, London UK
28 - 29 -- Vodafone Mexefest 2014, Lisbon Portugal

Perfume Genius online :

Perfume Genius.net
Facebook 
Twitter
Instagram
You Tube Channel




VIDEO : Perfume Genius - "Grid", from the forthcoming 'Too Bright'



“A lot of these songs are me trying to claim some power in situations that would typically depress or alienate or victimize me. Also, no matter how good I feel there is a darkness hanging, which I don’t agree with - giving it a voice is an attempt at freeing it so it can potentially dissipate” - Mike Hadreas
Prior to the September 23 release of 'Too Bright,' the bold and beautiful new album from Perfume Genius, comes the strange, twisted and brilliant video for the forthcoming single “Grid”. If you’ve heard the first single “Queen”, with its swaggering stomp and anthemic choruses, you would know that “Too Bright” represents a dramatic departure from the stark piano ballad confessionals of the first two Perfume Genius albums. “Grid” goes even further down the rabbit hole, with pounding drums, tribal chants and piercing screams all lending the song a heightened air of force and unease – not so much a declaration as it is an exorcism. Fittingly, the video, directed by Charlotte Rutherford, only adds to this intense atmosphere of resistance and release, with Mike Hadreas literally surrounded by his (hentai-clad) demons before confronting them head on and being devoured by them. It’s a quixotic, unsettling video for sure but not without flashes of Hadreas’ black humour as well, making the whole thing uniquely and typically Perfume Genius. Preorder 'Too Bright' from the following : The Matador Store (LP & CD) iTunes (receive "Queen" and "Grid" instantly) Perfume Genius.net Amazon Amazon MP3 Google Play Tour Dates : September 9 – Locomotiv Club, Bologna Italy 26 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City UT 27 - Hi Dive - Denver CO 29 - Riot Room - Kansas City MO 30 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis MN October 1 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago IL 2 - Magic Stick - Detroit MI 4 - Virgin Mobile Mod Club - Toronto ON 6 - Brighton Music Hall - Allston MA 7 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn NY 8 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia PA 9 - The Hamilton - Washington DC 10 - Cat's Cradle Back Room - Carrboro NC 11 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta GA 13 - Three Links - Dallas TX 14 - The Parish - Austin TX 16 - Club Congress - Tucson AZ 17 - Soda Bar - San Diego CA 19 - Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles CA 21 - The Independent - San Francisco CA 22 - Harlow's - Sacramento CA 24 - Mississippi Studios - Portland OR 25 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle WA November 11 - La Maroquinerie, Paris France 12 - Exile, Zurich, Switzerland 13 - Le Romandie, Lausanne Switzerland 14 - Depot, Leuven Belgium 16 - Vega, Copenhagen Denmark 17 - Lido, Berlin German 18 - Pret-a-ecouter Festival, Heidelberg Germany 19 - Bitterzoet, Amsterdam Holland 21 - Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht Holland 23 - Caves, Edinburgh UK 24 - The Wardrobe, Leeds UK 25 - Oobleck, Birmingham UK 26 - The Haunt, Brighton UK 27 - Islington Assembly Hall, London UK Perfume Genius online : Perfume Genius.net Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Channel

VIDEO : Perfume Genius - "Queen"



(photo by Luke Gilford)
“I've seen faces of blank terror when I walk by. Sometimes from seemingly strong, macho dudes - somehow my presence confuses and ultimately scares them. There is a strange power to it that I've only recently begun to understand and embrace. After many years trying to sort out exactly what they are scared of, most of the time converting the result into personal shame, there are now moments of monstrous pride”. - Mike Hadreas
As mentioned earlier this week, on September 23 Matador will be releasing the 3rd album from Perfume Genius, 'Too Bright' (coming September 22 in the UK via Turnstile). Here's the album's first video, "Queen", directed bySSION : Preorder 'Too Bright' from iTunes and receive "Queen" immediately. Preorder 'Too Bright' on LP or CD from The Matador Store Preorder 'Too Bright' from Amazon Upcoming dates : August 1 – OFF Festival, Katowice Poland 2 – Visions Festival, London UK 27 – Feeerieen, Brussels Belgium 28 – Mas Mas, Cardigan UK 30 – End of the Road Festival, Salisbury UK September 1 – Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow UK 2 – Band on the Wall, Manchester UK 3 – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate UK 6 - Into The Great Wide Open Festival, Vlieland Netherlands 7 – MITO SettembreMusica, Milan Italy 8 – Circolo degli Artisti, Rome Italy 9 – Locomotiv Club, Bologna Italy 26 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City UT 27 - Hi Dive - Denver C 29 - Riot Room - Kansas City MO 30 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis MN October 1 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago IL 2 - Magic Stick - Detroit MI 4 - Virgin Mobile Mod Club - Toronto ON 6 - Brighton Music Hall - Allston MA 7 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn NY 8 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia PA 9 - The Hamilton - Washington DC 10 - Cat's Cradle Back Room - Carrboro NC 11 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta GA 13 - Three Links - Dallas TX 14 - The Parish - Austin TX 16 - Club Congress - Tucson AZ 17 - Soda Bar - San Diego CA 19 - Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles CA 21 - The Independent - San Francisco CA 22 - Harlow's - Sacramento CA 24 - Mississippi Studios - Portland OR 25 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle WA November 11 - La Maroquinerie, Paris France 12 - Exile, Zurich, Switzerland 13 - Le Romandie, Lausanne Switzerland 14 - Depot, Leuven Belgium 16 - Vega, Copenhagen Denmark 17 - Lido, Berlin German 18 - Pret-a-ecouter Festival, Heidelberg Germany 19 - Bitterzoet, Amsterdam Holland 21 - Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht Holland 23 - Caves, Edinburgh UK 24 - The Wardrobe, Leeds UK 25 - Oobleck, Birmingham UK 26 - The Haunt, Brighton UK 27 - Islington Assembly Hall, London UK Perfume Genius online : Perfume Genius.net Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Channel

Coming September 23 : Perfume Genius - "Too Bright", New Worldwide Dates



(EDITOR'S NOTE :  On  September 23, Matador will be releasing the new album from Perfume Genius, 'Too Bright' on LP, CD and digital configurations*.  Even for those of us who've been previously left wobbly by Mike Hadreas' songwriting prowess, his 3rd full-length is nothing short of a knockout blow. Bravest record we've ever released?  It's absolutely in the top one and a half - GC)

(* - Turnstile Music will be releasing the album in the UK on September 22)



"Queen"
Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius, aka Seattle native Mike Hadreas, cemented his place as a singer-songwriter of rare frankness, with achingly emotional songs that offered empathy and hope, rather than judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas’ quavering vocals often only accompanied by piano, they were uncommonly beautiful tales of a life lived on the dark side – scarred, brutalized, yet ultimately reclaimed. 'Too Bright', however, is something else altogether. Less self-conscious, and less concerned with storytelling and easily-digested melodies, it is a bold and unpredictably quixotic exploration of what Hadreas calls “an underlying rage that has slowly been growing since age ten and has just begun to bubble up”. Recorded with Adrian Utley of Portishead and featuring John Parish on several tracks, it is a stunning about-face which brings to mind audacious career-shift albums like Kate Bush’s 'The Dreaming' or Scott Walker’s 'Tilt', records which walk the tightrope between pure songwriting and overt experimentation.
(photography by Luke Gilford) track listing : i. I Decline ii. Queen iii. Fool iv. No Good v. My Body vi. Don’t Let Them In vii. Grid viii. Longpig ix. I’m a Mother x. Too Bright xi. All Along Preorder 'Too Bright' from iTunes and receive "Queen" immediately. Preorder 'Too Bright' on LP or CD from The Matador Store Preorder 'Too Bright' from Amazon Upcoming dates : August 1 – OFF Festival, Katowice Poland 2 – Visions Festival, London UK 27 – Feeerieen, Brussels Belgium 28 – Mas Mas, Cardigan UK 30 – End of the Road Festival, Salisbury UK September 1 – Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow UK 2 – Band on the Wall, Manchester UK 3 – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate UK 6 - Into The Great Wide Open Festival, Vlieland Netherlands 7 – MITO SettembreMusica, Milan Italy 8 – Circolo degli Artisti, Rome Italy 9 – Locomotiv Club, Bologna  Italy 26 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City UT 27 - Hi Dive - Denver C 29 - Riot Room - Kansas City MO 30 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis MN October 1 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago IL 2 - Magic Stick - Detroit MI 4 - Virgin Mobile Mod Club - Toronto ON 6 - Brighton Music Hall - Allston  MA 7 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn NY 8 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia PA 9 - The Hamilton - Washington DC 10 - Cat's Cradle Back Room - Carrboro NC 11 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta GA 13 - Three Links - Dallas TX 14 - The Parish - Austin TX 16 - Club Congress - Tucson  AZ 17 - Soda Bar - San Diego  CA 19 - Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles CA 21 - The Independent - San Francisco CA 22 - Harlow's - Sacramento CA 24 - Mississippi Studios - Portland OR 25 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle WA November 11 - La Maroquinerie, Paris France 12 - Exile,  Zurich, Switzerland 13 - Le Romandie, Lausanne Switzerland 14 - Depot, Leuven Belgium 16 - Vega, Copenhagen Denmark 17 - Lido, Berlin German 18 - Pret-a-ecouter Festival, Heidelberg Germany 19 - Bitterzoet, Amsterdam Holland 21 - Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht Holland 23 - Caves, Edinburgh UK 24 - The Wardrobe, Leeds UK 25   - Oobleck, Birmingham UK 26 - The Haunt, Brighton UK 27 - Islington Assembly Hall, London UK Perfume Genius online : Perfume Genius.net Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Channel

New Perfume Genius shows



Perfume Genius adds a flurry of newly confirmed shows this summer, adding to the previously announced UK and European shows for August and September.  Currently touring in Asia (with Cat Power and more!) Mike plays Taipei today with the previously announced Hostess Club Weekender taking place this weekend.

New dates below in bold:

Wed 18 Jun - Hostess Club Taipei, Taipei, Taipei
Sat 21-22 Jun - Hostess Club Weekender - Tokyo, Japan
August 1st - OFF Festival, Katowice, Poland http://off-festival.pl/bilety/
August 2nd - Visions Festival, London, UK http://visionsfestival.com/tickets
August 27 - Feeerieen, Brussels
August 30 - End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire, UK (http://www.endoftheroadfestival.com/tickets/)
September 1 - Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
September 2 - Band on the Wall, Manchester
September 3 - Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
September 7 - MITO SettembreMusica, Milan

Artwork
(click for high resolution)