Perfume Genius performed two songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night – “Wreath” and “Just Like Love.” Both songs are off of his latest album, No Shape, which is currently in full swing of its North American and European tour with serpentwithfeet and Weyes Blood.
Decked out in a baggy button down shirt and some rad denim/latex cutoff pants, Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius’ real name) breathed some much-needed queerness into the hetero-dominated world of late night TV. Take a look below:
Hadreas also recently performed for NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series, where he sang “Valley,” “Slip Away,” and “Normal Song,” all also off of No Shape.
Don’t you know your queen? For Rita Ora, the answer seems to be a resounding “no.” The elusive British pop star who made her return to music this month is courting controversy with the video for her new single “Your Song.” In the opening shot, the TV host and fan favorite of the Who Weekly podcast about D-list celebrities is seen in an oversized, 80s-inspired business suit alongside a gaggle of guys dressed in enough plain business suits to fill a Men’s Warehouse catalogue. She jumps on the table, turns it into a catwalk, and slides down the length of the table while confronting the men. She then proceeds to launch herself off a ledge.
It looks edgy and fun, but it also looks like a tame version of the same scene Perfume Genius created for his 2014 single “Queen.” At the 2:30 mark in that particular video (which you can watch below), singer Mike Hadreas is outfitted in a gloriously oversized 80s business suit alongside a gaggle of guys dressed in enough plain business suits to fill a Men’s Warehouse catalogue. He jumps on the table, turns it into a catwalk, and slides down the length of the table while confronting the men. He then proceeds to launch himself off a ledge.
To be fair, the scenes do have notable differences. In the Perfume Genius video, the business men are eating jumbo shrimp and Hadreas is serving full queer looks, while Ora is tasked with confronting business men in front of their laptops and is not serving businesswoman fish like Hadreas did.
There’s been no official word from Ora yet about the similarities, but Hadreas did take to Twitter to give a subtle “side eye” emoji when the drama was brought to his attention. We can only hope that this will all end in a big gay lip-sync battle set in another 80s-inspired boardroom.
Looking sharp, 2012. In our first two installments, we’ve already highlighted some of the best songs of the year so far, like Tanlines’ “All of Me” and “I Love It” by Icona Pop. Here’s a sampling of some other great singles from the past six months.
Django Django – “Default”
This relentlessly catchy cut from the London-based psych-rock quartet demands to be put on repeat.
Hot Chip – “Night And Day”
Hot Chip have always been pretty sexy, and they reach their full potential in that department with “Night and Day.” With a nasty bass line and characteristic humor, the song simultaneously fulfills their established R&B-inflected electro sound and pushes it further.
Grimes – “Oblivion”
Claire Boucher’s ethereal vocals and looping production make this song both expansive and intensely intimate.
Kindness – “House”
An earnest, quietly anthemic love song from the British up-and-comer. Kindess’s debut album World, You Need A Change Of Mind was produced by French studio wizard Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo).
Chairlift – “Met Before”
On sophomore album Something, Chairlift moved swiftly past the previous success of “Bruises” and went in a dreamier direction, while remaining just as charming.
Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”
Sharon Van Etten’s been around for a while, but she’s earned some new fans from third LP Tramp. This highlight from the album lets the singer-songwriter’s voice soar.
Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
Seattle’s Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, is known for his stark, minimalist style. “Dark Parts” shows off his ability to distill imagery and make you cry.
Bear In Heaven – “Sinful Nature”
Bear In Heaven’s shimmering electro-pop sounds perfect right about now. With lines like “Let’s get loaded and make some strange things come true,” this song puts romance in a weird place.
New Build – “Do You Not Feel Loved?”
There’s a bit of overlap here, as New Build is a side project of Hot Chip’s Al Doyle and Felix Martin. This track from their excellent album “Yesterday Was Lived And Lost” is gently delivered, but urgent all the same.
Santigold – “Big Mouth”
It took four years for Santigold to make her return, and tracks like the rattling, blistering “Big Mouth” make sophomore LP Master of My Make-Believe worth the wait.
Today, over at Pitchfork, Perfume Genius (the stage name of solo artist Mike Hadreas) premiered the video for “Dark Parts,” a song off his excellent and most recent record, Put Your Back N 2 It. The video, below, is extra special because not only is it for a song about Hadreas’ mother, but it also stars her.
This isn’t the first time that a musician we love has penned an ode to dear old mom, however. Here are four of our favorite tracks, just in time for Mother’s Day.
1. Danzig – “Mother” Super spooky former Misfit Glenn Danzig’s pean to, well, someone’s mother has been a hard-rock mainstay for year, even if it might not be the type of tune that most moms want to listen to.
2. The Bouncing Souls – “I Like Your Mom” Sometimes you’re not the only one who thinks your mom is the best. From this poppy punk number from The Bouncing Souls, we learn that sometimes your friends can like her too—in a very, very different way.
3. Babes In Toyland – “Mother” The Minneapolis-based three-piece, one of the most ferocious acts of the ‘90s, were best known for a babydoll obsession, from the dresses they wore to the Cindy Sherman pictures of the creepy toys that graced some of their most memorable album covers. But this song, from 1992’s Fontanelle, isn’t about kids—it’s all about mom.
4. Fountains of Wayne – “Stacy’s Mom” You might very well think you’re all that, but in certain cases it’s actually your mom who’s really the main attraction. Poor Stacy might be young, but in this alt-rock classic, it’s her cougar mom that everyone really wants
Perfume Genius is the perfect name for singer songwriter Mike Hadreas’s one man band. After all, his lo-fi piano ballads are like perfume: sensual, evocative, slightly girlish – and, yes, also sort of genius. His voice is high and wobbly. His songs are narrative reminiscences on an adolescence fraught with addiction and abuse. Hadreas’s latest album, Learning, comes out in an expanded edition from Matador on Tuesday, but you can download one of it’s best songs now for free.
Stereogum has a free download up for the superlative track “Dreeems.” Think the best of Sufjan Stevens, but if Stevens had a more ghostly, emotive voice, and refrained from using a full orchestra and over-the-top arrangements to Broadway-ify every song. Enjoy.