Monday, 12 December 2011

Perfume Genius - All Waters

 Perfume Genius, the moniker of Seattle’s Mike Hadreas, was often photographed shirtless, revealing bruises on his frail body. This was a motif that fitted perfectly with his music and his fragile voice on debut LP ‘Learning’, an album overflowing with honesty and heartbreak. However, a recent photo of Hadreas shows him wearing red lipstick and a hoodie with the message "Don’t Be A Pussy" scrawled on it. Could this mean a drastic change in character and sound on new record ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’?

From the opening bars of taster track "All Waters", it’s clear that Perfume Genius has not changed, but he has developed. The subject matter on ‘Learning’, true stories about a suicidal teacher on one track and a 10-year-old murderer on another, was often whispered by Hadreas, as if he was telling you his darkest secrets. Whereas Hadreas believes the subject matter on "All Waters" deserves to be broadcasted, the inspiration being Hadreas’ hesitation to hold his boyfriend’s hand in public, something that "fucking infuriates" him. The music has changed too, bold synths and distant guitar howls replace the chiming piano loops from ‘Learning’, giving the song a more commanding sound.

Hadreas’ voice sounds stronger than before, it sounded like he was on the verge of tears for most of ‘Learning’, but it reflects the strong person he has become. If "All Waters" is anything to go by, then the curiously titled ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’ should be another beautiful album by a sublime talent.

By Calum Stephen

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