11 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Perfume Genius, the artistic stirrings of Mike Hadreas, was once content to confess at his piano. However, his concerns and artistry demanded a bigger stage, and for 2014’s Too Bright he’s teamed up with Portishead’s Adrian Utley throughout, as well as PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish on select tracks. The angry “Queen” feeds into a homophobic person’s worst fears, stating “No family is safe when I sashay” with a sense of frustration that fuels his best songs. Tracks such as “Fool,” “No Good,” and “I’m a Mother” are loaded with conflicting, difficult emotions that earn comparisons to Kate Bush, modern-day Scott Walker, and Antony Hegarty. 

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Perfume Genius, the artistic stirrings of Mike Hadreas, was once content to confess at his piano. However, his concerns and artistry demanded a bigger stage, and for 2014’s Too Bright he’s teamed up with Portishead’s Adrian Utley throughout, as well as PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish on select tracks. The angry “Queen” feeds into a homophobic person’s worst fears, stating “No family is safe when I sashay” with a sense of frustration that fuels his best songs. Tracks such as “Fool,” “No Good,” and “I’m a Mother” are loaded with conflicting, difficult emotions that earn comparisons to Kate Bush, modern-day Scott Walker, and Antony Hegarty. 

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
98 Ratings
98 Ratings
lushvalley

Epic & Glacial!

Queen is an absolute departure from Put Your Back In 2 It. However, Queen is an epic lead single and it will definitely be in my top 5 songs for 2014. Well back, Mike! Can’t wait for the rest of the album!!!!

BoomerBoom13

Haunting.

Too Bright captures the fuzziness of recall and unease of awaking from an alien dreamscape. A lush, fertile land which grows in darkness, inhabited by emaciated pain and a resilience of skeletal strength. Behold, a fallen angel with repaired wings and the indelible scars that speak of a disastrous plummet. Perfume Genius’ work represents the endurance of a spirit's survival, while trapped within the claustrophobia of human experience…imparting it’s truth sparingly, as if each word, each breathe could be the last. Perfume Genius represents the essence of that diamond he sings of in “Grid”…ever resilient, it's value undetermined by man’s say-so, but by the inherent beauty that even amongst an earthy stench, it simply just exists. Too Bright is this artist’s meaningful and fearless aural tag to the walls of an oft times incomprehensible universe: Perfume Genius Was Here.

Voltasaur

Album Of The Year

I received a promotional copy of Too Bright and the album certainly has potential for an album of the year nod. The album is sonically a huge departure from Put Ur Back N 2 It and has Mike Hadreas exploring various layering and texturing methods with new sounds that leaves you bewildered yet craving more. Both singles Queen and Grid examine Hadreas’ confrontation with dangerous and uncomfortable situations which seems to a reoccurring theme on Too Bright. Hadreas has completely redefined his image and sound to accompany what is in my opinion going to be album of the year.

About Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius is the project of singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas, whose music spans fragile piano ballads and swaggering glam rock as he explores subjects such as sexuality, homophobia, and domestic abuse with brutal and often poetic honesty.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, and growing up in Everett, Washington, Hadreas was bullied for being gay and coped by painting, writing, and listening to artists including PJ Harvey and Liz Phair. While attending Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts, he was hospitalized after he was attacked by a group of young men in his neighborhood. Once he recovered, he moved to Brooklyn and spent a few years working at a bar and partying. He returned to Everett in 2005 to go to rehab, then lived with his mother and stepfather.

During this time, he began making music, pairing unflinching lyrics with simple piano melodies. By 2008 he had set up a MySpace page and began offering his music there, along with similarly spare and evocative homemade music videos; a year later, Turnstile Records released his debut single, "Mr. Peterson," the tale of a suicidal pedophile high-school teacher. Hadreas also signed to Matador Records, which released Perfume Genius' full-length debut, Learning, in mid-2010. To tour in support of the album, Hadreas brought Alan Wyffels, a classically trained pianist he met in group therapy, as an accompanist. Eventually, they became a couple, and Wyffels performed on Perfume Genius' later tours and albums. These included 2012's even more intimate Put Your Back N 2 It and 2014's snarling Too Bright, which was inspired by glam rock, PJ Harvey, and Hadreas' growing frustration with casual homophobia; it featured Portishead's Adrian Utley and longtime Harvey collaborator John Parish.

Perfume Genius returned with new music in 2016, collaborating with Sharon Van Etten on a cover of the Grateful Dead's "To Lay Me Down" for Day of the Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute album produced by the Red Hot Organization to fight AIDS/HIV and related health issues around the world. That September, Hadreas also issued a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" that was featured in the ad campaign for Prada's La Femme and L'Homme fragrances. Hadreas recorded Perfume Genius' fourth album, No Shape, in Los Angeles with producer Blake Mills; spanning influences such as gospel, goth pop, and soul, it arrived in May 2017. A year later, he issued the No Shape companion EP Reshaped, which featured six remixes by the likes of Mura Masa, King Princess, Blake Mills, and more. ~ Heather Phares

HOMETOWN
Everett, WA
BORN
September 25, 1981

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