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There is nothing quite as beautiful or as elegant or as poignant as the arrangements of Mike Hadreas’, otherwise known as Perfume Genius, music.
Listening to his songs triggers a wave of sorrow deep within your soul. It feels like being submerged under the coldest, iced water. Yet, everything is at ease. Each wave of instrumental music softly wraps around your body, while the lyrics slowly trickle into your mind.
Perfume Genius released his debut album, Learning, in the summer of 2010, and his sophomore album, Put Your Back N 2 It, just this past year. In both albums, Hadreas delves deep into themes of love, heartbreak, abuse, addiction, and suicide.
Despite the bleak substance of his music, Hadreas creates the most tender and magnificent works of art. His songs are filled with slow and rhythmic melodies that create a chilling, still atmosphere. His sweet trembling voice echoes beyond the boundaries of his cavernous songs. There is nothing you want to do but reach out to this musician’s bruised and battered heart to heal his pain.
Put Your Back N 2 It creates a strong sense of isolation and heartache. You can feel every heartfelt emotion Hadreas poured into his music.
But listening to Perfume Genius is truly worth every second. The instrumentals consist of soft piano notes and the gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar. Every aspect of the song is arranged so simply, yet every second oozes with deep, stirring emotions.
While the lyrics of his songs are extremely minimalistic, each track expresses much more than it conveys.
“You would never call me baby, if you knew me truly,” Hadreas whispers in “Hood”. He creates a sense of longing and insecurity with his words while the instrumentals only intensifies the effect of the lyrics and overall emotions of the album.
As depressing as his songs may be, Perfume Genius sheds a light of hope and warmth in his songs. In “Dark Parts”, a song about his mother’s abuse at the hands of his grandfather, Hadreas croons, “I will take the dark part, of your heart into my heart.” Nothing is quite as wonderfully emotional and heart wrenchingly beautiful as this album gets.
This coming Sunday, Perfume Genius is performing at Johnny D’s in Somerville. Though I’m unable to attend due to age restrictions, I hope anyone who does see him can fully immerse himself in his wonderful melodies.