Posts Tagged ‘Perfume Genius’

We’re not entirely sure what we are seeing in Perfume Genius’ “Describe” but we’re digging it nonetheless. Set on a dusty ranch, the music video shows the life of a cult-like group of people who eat, dance, and apparently sleep on the floor together. The video gives off major Midsommar and Wild Wild Country vibes (albeit with a much happier ending). Mike Hadreas has stated that the song is about being in a dark place and needing someone to describe what goodness feels like, which explains the overall introspective feel to the music video.  

Mid-lockdown, here was my reminder that the world out there is vast and oppressive, beautiful and foul, almost psychedelically diverse and yet the very definition of mundane; sometimes fun, sometimes shit, always confusing. Perfume Genius has a way of capturing what feels like the whole human experience in a single album – heck, even a single song. Gone are the minimalist confessionals that made his name. On ‘Set My Heart on Fire Immediately’, grand, melodramatic laments on earthly fragility and the passage of time rub up against snatched reminiscences of hook-ups. It’s a sprawling, detailed masterpiece, shot through with typical Mike Hadreas yearning, that embodies just how rich and radiant and fucked up life can be.

Like an oil puddle rainbow, it shimmers. He shimmies. Hope seems to be a waking dream. It simmers. Elongates. Reverberates. You’re cradled by sumptuous arrangements, whilst sadness slow dances in the shadows. There are glimmers that you can’t quite discern. Björk? Eno’s ambient chambers? Soap&Skin? Zola Jesus? John Grant’s molten disco? There’s a sensation of the weight of the world being lifted and, just for a moment, the pins and needles leave you frozen. It’s murmurations of doves scattering to the four corners, bright white wings flapping gracefully against an ominous sky. It’s some kind of wonderful.

Listen, if you haven’t depression-fucked the love of your life to “Describe,” I’m extremely sorry. This album lights up every individual nerve ending, sometimes all at once. 
From Perfume Genius’ new album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” released on May 15th, 2020 on Matador Records.

This morning we’re releasing the Jim-E Stack remix of Perfume Genius’ “Without You,” taken from the critically acclaimed album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately’. Stack had previously collaborated with Perfume Genius and Empress Of on the single “When I’m With Him,” and also worked with artists including Bon Iver, Caroline Polachek, Haim and more. Stack said of the “Without You” remix, “to my ears a Perfume Genius album always embodies excellence, from the song-writing to the production to the mixing. Every word, note, and sound feels so purposeful while playing its role in each song and in the greater context of the album. I chose to remix ‘Without You,’ because something about it felt timeless and familiar but also grounded and confident. That gave me room to make a completely new instrumental around the vocal.” He went on to say, “even though Mike and I are friends and we’ve worked together in the past, I was admittedly intimidated by the task of remixing ‘Without You.’ Once I found a way to bring the song into my world, I started listening to the remix outside the studio and I knew I had done my thing. I just hoped Mike would want to listen to it too.

Perfume Genius’ new album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” is out now:

an image of Gregory Uhlmann

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Gregory Uhlmann, a member of Perfume Genius, Fell Runner and the genre-bending improvising trio Typical Sisters, has in the past found loveliness in dark places. His acclaimed solo album of 2016, Odd Job (Dog Legs Music), blended “lush, hypnotic, minimalist chamber-pop with compelling, introspective folk melancholy,” per the Big Takeover. The Chicago Reader had equally high praise for Uhlmann’s “tender singer-songwriter album,” a collection of “beautiful melodies with somber, baroque arrangements.”
For Uhlmann, Odd Job came from a place of yearning and longing—an expression of a young songwriter looking back, often in sadness or regret or angst. But his new project, Neighborhood Watch, while also rich in melodic and textural allure, comes from a place of contentment. Consider it a meditation on domestic bliss experienced in early adulthood, an expression of the sweetness, good humour and fond reflections Uhlmann is compelled toward at this happy place in his life. “Neighborhood Watch” is a cozy portrait of grains of sand, cats, ants, getting colds, letting loose, feeling shy, watching movies, and being in love,” the songwriter says.

It’s also, somewhat ironically, a brilliant team effort involving several of Uhlmann’s favorite musicians and most trusted collaborators: Josh Johnson, keys; Anna Butterss, bass; Tim Carr, drums and voice; Matt Carroll, percussion; Lauren Baba, violin and viola; and April Guthrie on cello. Consistent with the majority of Uhlmann’s work, the songs on Neighborhood Watch match consummate musicianship and thoughtful songcraft with an innate gift for melody, and that lyricism is channelled through Uhlmann’s unique singing voice—soft and balmy yet also direct and affecting. Ultimately, the results summon up a number of touchstones in smart, studio-conscious orchestral pop, psychedelic folk and indie-rock: Think of Van Dyke Parks, the Zombies, Cate le Bon, and Bill Callahan.

In the end, however, it is Uhlmann’s life and sound reflected intimately in this music. “Bed” finds the songwriter reconciling his single, independent life with a newer version of himself who desires to settle down. “Benny” is a character study of sorts, and an opportunity for Uhlmann to vicariously throw caution to the wind. Jump-cutting from discordant, brazen sonics to gorgeous strings and supple melody, “Cool Breeze” is lyrically a curio about L.A.’s unforgiving summer heat; “Neighborhood Watch,” based in part on a fellow resident of Uhlmann’s Echo Park, is similarly droll. “DNA” delves into the idea of being in love but having uncertain goals, while “Spice Girls”—title courtesy of Butterss—ruminates on the challenges of falling in love and learning to give of yourself. “Hourglass” finds inspiration in the verse of the late poet W.S. Merwin. Uhlmann enlists vocal help from Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) on “Santa Fe,” a charming reverie in which the songwriter warmly ponders the spring-break trips he took to visit his grandparents. “Coupon” is another poetic travelogue of sorts, this time about a family sojourn to New York.

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Raised in Chicago and currently based in L.A., Uhlmann earned a BFA in jazz-guitar studies from the California Institute of the Arts in 2014, also studying composition and various world musics. He has since pursued engaging work in a variety of musical and creative disciplines. Uhlmann’s c.v. includes music for chamber ensembles; scores for dance, film, television and online media, including credits for Vogue, Netflix and the Moth podcast; an ongoing cross-disciplinary collaboration with the poet David Baker; and performances and recordings with many, many remarkable bands and musicians. In 2016, he and Tim Carr (Haim/The Americans) cofounded the production company Dog Legs Music. Prior to Neighborhood Watch, Uhlmann’s most recent release was Hungry Ghost, by the trio Typical Sisters. “This is improvisation-driven music, right at the corner of jazz and post-rock, but there are none of the showy, full-band mis-directions that have become so typical of jazz today,” the New York Times wrote of the album. The paper later called the music “group exploration with little flexing or hurry, electric guitar melodies that sound like open promises.”

But Neighborhood Watch is Uhlmann’s most definitive—and private, and fulfilled—effort yet. “This album reflects where I’m at in my life. It feels more grown up, but still contains a certain level of uncertainty and searching. I think I’ll always be looking for answers, but I’m more comfortable with the idea that there are not always clear cut solutions and that’s ok,” he says.

Released July 24th, 2020
Band Members:
Gregory Uhlmann – compositions, arrangements, production, guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion
Tim Carr – drums, percussion, vocals
Anna Butterss – bass, vocals
Josh Johnson – keyboards
Elizabeth Baba – violin, viola
April Guthrie – cello
Matt Carroll – percussion
Meg Duffy – vocals (on Sante Fe)

“Mike Hadreas has confidently dropped an intense album of brilliantly realised pop songs. As the quivering vocals mirror that synthesiser bouncing from from one ear to the other, the opening few seconds of opener Whole Life announces “Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” to the world.

The nom de plume of US singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas, Perfume Genius continues to flourish in his element as a genre-defying, expectation-destroying catalyst for modern pop.

No Shape, Perfume Genius’s remarkable fourth album, marked a bold leap for Mike Hadreas—stuffed with eye-popping pageantry, panicky swarms of violins, and incandescent, sun-drenched pop. Its follow-up, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, instantly overwhelms the senses in much the same way. Hadreas hasn’t lost his flair for the cinematic, and Set My Heart sways from one musical style to another so casually you’ll feel the urge to stop and catch your breath.

That makes for a rewarding sonic journey, but underpinning Hadreas’s fearless versatility is striking self-analysis and vulnerability. Opener “Whole Life” is a glimmering 1960s waltz, but it’s also a grim reckoning with the passage of time. Likewise, while Hadreas’s vocals and a tiptoeing harpsichord initially command attention on “Jason,” his intimate, colourful recounting of a one-night stand, they elevate the song to something greater. Instantly accessible and technically impressive, Set Your Heart on Fire Immediately quickly earns your admiration, but its raw emotional weight is what keeps you coming back.

While many artists in Hadreas’ field openly struggle with their transition out of the prototypical “young pop star” motif, Perfume Genuis pushes the envelope as he always has, and continues to bring truth, emotion and raw sincerity to everything he does.

From Perfume Genius’ new album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” released on May 15, 2020 on Matador Records.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and text

Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas is one of modern pop’s true boundary-pushing juggernauts. Each of his four albums—but particularly the last two: 2014’s Too Bright and 2017’s No Shape—rattled with sonic magnificence and lyrics of deep trauma, the fierce reclamation of space and the transcendence of love and intimacy. Hadreas is fresh off a collaborative dance piece with choreographer Kate Wallich and The YC dance company, and he’s now poised to bring that vulnerable physicality to his first Perfume Genius album in three years: Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. While No Shape saw him lean into bold, adventurous art-pop, Set My Heart sees him embrace American rock ‘n’ roll glory. It still preserves his enthralling tenderness and idiosyncratic pop palette, but it adds torched guitars and classic rock melodies. Songs like “Describe” are led by a dreamy, prevailing calm while still shaking the ground with guitar distortion. It’s Hadreas at his most abstract and carefree.

While I haven’t previously delved into the albums of Perfume Genius (Mike Hadreas), I read his profile/interview in The New Yorker and was immediately intrigued, so I went straight to listen to Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, his new record; the song that grabbed me the most was “On the Floor.” It has a steady, side-to-side groove, the kind that might bring you to the nearest dancefloor on a cool evening.

The lyrics however drip with longing, and a touch of fear. Hadreas sings of big feelings for someone, presumably big love, and begs, “take this wildness away,” as the instruments pare down for a moment, leaving only the desperation in his voice before the groove picks back up. 

From Perfume Genius‘ new album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” released on May 15th, 2020 on Matador Records.

Image may contain: 1 person, child, sky and closeup, text that says 'SET MY HEART ON FIRE IMMEDIATELY OUT MAY 15'

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, the fifth studio album by Perfume Genius, boasts the best album title of 2020. There’s a visceral quality to it that not only paints a picture, but beautifully marries the urgent earnestness and theatrical camp that has defined his decade-long career. The album contains some typically transcendent musings on love and self and acceptance, this time painted with colours of rock and country – two traditionally hyper-masculine genres, confidently embodied and beautifully muddied by one of the most enigmatic artists working right now.

Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas is one of modern pop’s true boundary-pushing juggernauts. Each of his four albums—but particularly the last two: 2014’s Too Bright and 2017’s No Shape—rattled with sonic magnificence and lyrics of deep trauma, the fierce reclamation of space and the transcendence of love and intimacy. Hadreas is fresh off a collaborative dance piece with choreographer Kate Wallich and The YC dance company, and he’s now poised to bring that vulnerable physicality to his first Perfume Genius album in three years: Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. While No Shape saw him lean into bold, adventurous art-pop, Set My Heart sees him embrace American rock ‘n’ roll glory. It still preserves his enthralling tenderness and idiosyncratic pop palette, but it adds torched guitars and classic rock melodies. Songs like “Describe” are led by a dreamy, prevailing calm while still shaking the ground with guitar distortion. It’s Hadreas at his most abstract and carefree.

From Perfume Genius’ new album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately” released on May 15th, 2020 on Matador Records.

Image may contain: 1 person, guitar and outdoor

The singer-songwriter and guitarist Gregory Uhlmann, a member of Perfume Genius, Fell Runner and the genre-bending improvising trio Typical Sisters, has in the past found loveliness in dark places. His acclaimed solo album of 2016, Odd Job (Dog Legs Music), blended “lush, hypnotic, minimalist chamber-pop with compelling, introspective folk melancholy,” per the Big Takeover. The Chicago Reader had equally high praise for Uhlmann’s “tender singer-songwriter album,” a collection of “beautiful melodies with somber, baroque arrangements.”
For Uhlmann, Odd Job came from a place of yearning and longing—an expression of a young songwriter looking back, often in sadness or regret or angst. But his new project, Neighborhood Watch, while also rich in melodic and textural allure, comes from a place of contentment.
Consider it a meditation on domestic bliss experienced in early adulthood, an expression of the sweetness, good humour and fond reflections Uhlmann is compelled toward at this happy place in his life. “Neighborhood Watch” is a cozy portrait of grains of sand, cats, ants, getting colds, letting loose, feeling shy, watching movies, and being in love,” the songwriter says. It’s also, somewhat ironically, a brilliant team effort involving several of Uhlmann’s favourite musicians and most trusted collaborators: Josh Johnson, keys; Anna Butterss, bass; Tim Carr, drums and voice; Matt Carroll, percussion; Lauren Baba, violin and viola; and April Guthrie on cello. Consistent with the majority of Uhlmann’s work, the songs on Neighborhood Watch match consummate musicianship and thoughtful songcraft with an innate gift for melody, and that lyricism is channeled through Uhlmann’s unique singing voice—soft and balmy yet also direct and affecting. Ultimately, the results summon up a number of touchstones in smart, studio-conscious orchestral pop, psychedelic folk and indie-rock: Think of Van Dyke Parks, the Zombies, Cate le Bon, and Bill Callahan. In the end, however, it is Uhlmann’s life and sound reflected intimately in this music. “Bed” finds the songwriter reconciling his single, independent life with a newer version of himself who desires to settle down. “Benny” is a character study of sorts, and an opportunity for Uhlmann to vicariously throw caution to the wind. Jump-cutting from discordant, brazen sonics to gorgeous strings and supple melody, “Cool Breeze” is lyrically a curio about L.A.’s unforgiving summer heat; “Neighborhood Watch,” based in part on a fellow resident of Uhlmann’s Echo Park, is similarly droll.
 “DNA” delves into the idea of being in love but having uncertain goals, while “Spice Girls”—title courtesy of Butterss—ruminates on the challenges of falling in love and learning to give of yourself. “Hourglass” finds inspiration in the verse of the late poet W.S. Merwin. Uhlmann enlists vocal help from Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) on “Santa Fe,” a charming reverie in which the songwriter warmly ponders the spring-break trips he took to visit his grandparents. “Coupon” is another poetic travelogue of sorts, this time about a family sojourn to New York. Raised in Chicago and currently based in L.A., Uhlmann earned a BFA in jazz-guitar studies from the California Institute of the Arts in 2014, also studying composition and various world music.
He has since pursued engaging work in a variety of musical and creative disciplines. Uhlmann’s c.v. includes music for chamber ensembles; scores for dance, film, television and online media, including credits for Vogue, Netflix and the Moth podcast; an ongoing cross-disciplinary collaboration with the poet David Baker; and performances and recordings with many, many remarkable bands and musicians. In 2016, he and Tim Carr (Haim/The Americans) cofounded the production company Dog Legs Music. Prior to Neighborhood Watch, Uhlmann’s most recent release was Hungry Ghost, by the trio Typical Sisters. “This is improvisation-driven music, right at the corner of jazz and post-rock, but there are none of the showy, full-band mis-directions that have become so typical of jazz today,” the New York Times wrote of the album. The paper later called the music “group exploration with little flexing or hurry, electric guitar melodies that sound like open promises.
http://But Neighborhood Watch is Uhlmann’s most definitive—and private, and fulfilled—effort yet. “This album reflects where I’m at in my life. It feels more grown up, but still contains a certain level of uncertainty and searching. I think I’ll always be looking for answers, but I’m more comfortable with the idea that there are not always clear cut solutions and that’s ok,” he says.

Releases July 24th, 2020

Gregory Uhlmann – compositions, arrangements, production, guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion
Tim Carr – drums, percussion, vocals
Anna Butterss – bass, vocals
Josh Johnson – keyboards
Elizabeth Baba – violin, viola
April Guthrie – cello
Matt Carroll – percussion
Meg Duffy – vocals (on Sante Fe)

No photo description available.

Perfume Genius performs songs from the album No Shape at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Mike Hadreas has always had a gift for capturing the sound of escape. His early songs explore people who are running from something—abuse, stigma, addiction, themselves. But over the last two Perfume Genius albums, there’s been a gradual but powerful reclamation of self that culminates in “Slip Away,” the exquisite single from “No Shape”. 

The title may suggest that this is another Perfume Genius song about flight—in some ways it is. Hadreas is breaking free from whatever demons are at his back. But this time, he’s not looking back over his shoulder—“If you never see them coming, then you never have to hide.” There’s a faith that everything will turn out alright if you have the right person by your side. Fittingly, the song is the most euphoric Perfume Genius has ever sounded. It’s a song that shows that running towards something is always better than running away.

Image may contain: text

Erik Walters has something to say. The musician, who records under the name Silver Torches, has been sowing the long, hard road into adulthood, and his new album, Let It Be A Dream, As he offers glimpses of what he’s seen along the path. The answer is ? A lot of ambiguity and fitful progress, which will surprise approximately nobody who’s ever tried to change or loved someone who has. In “If I Reach,” Walters wanders through a lush soundscape, his voice pillowing over a steady acoustic strum until it blossoms into a bright chorus. “If I reach out my hand to you,” he sings, not finishing the thought.

In addition to playing with David Bazan, Walters tours with Perfume Genius, and while it may be a bit too tidy to say that his own music splits the difference between Bazan’s angular folk and Mike Hadreas’s defiant grandiosity, there is a crack to “If I Reach” that summons that chorus to attention and causes it to fall in line before it drifts into a dream in a way that recalls the best of both of those musicians’ work.

The clip was directed by Ben Park, who picked up on Erik Walters’s questing and sent him out on a path of his own. “The song immediately conjured the heat of the dusty road,” Park says, “and that’s where we began. From there we followed, to see where the road would lead us. The resulting experience was an adventure in searching for what lies beyond the bend.”

If I Reach (Official Video) From the album “Let It Be A Dream” out 10/6/17

Perfume Genius No Shape

From the quiet bedroom recordings on his debut Learning to the subtle ballads on Put Your Back N2 It  to the pop swagger on Too Bright , the music Mike Hadreas creates as Perfume Genius has gotten bigger and bolder with every album. For his fourth album, No Shape, Hadreas continues his impressive streak with another record that retains his unique voice while incorporating new sounds and ambitions.

Perfume Genius has always explored the queer experience, especially the traumas on the path to embracing one’s identity. Even at its most exuberant, the music battles with a darker tension. The stellar single “Queen” from Too Bright, for example, projects a powerful confidence musically, but the song, according to Perfume Genius’s camp, is about “gay panic.” On No Shape, that tension is still present, but more subdued, subordinated by the extraordinary strength of love.

No Shape feels more celebratory than any Perfume Genius record to date; that celebration often runs deliciously wild. Too Bright also swung for the fences, but its immaculately constructed pop songs always felt well under control. Both albums open with gentle piano, but No Shape opener “Otherside” can hardly contain itself. It explodes into glitter and euphoria after a minute, and then leads into the triumphant lead single “Slip Away.”

“Slip Away” just might be Perfume Genius’s finest song to date. The conflict between preserving your identity and survival, at the heart of so much of Perfume Genius’s work, is there. “They’ll never break the shape we take”—Hadreas is singing from the battlements, but there’s no doubt he’ll make it through to the morning. Even if the enemy is scaling the walls, this music remains triumphant.

Nothing else on No Shape matches the transcendence of “Slip Away”. That kind of brazen euphoria is anomalous on the album and Perfume Genius’s career in general. Much of the middle of the album follows slower, gentle ballads; the songs resemble Put Your Back N 2 It in tempo and Too Bright in production value, but they follow a logic entirely their own. Hadreas follows his intuition, which leads him to peculiar rhythms and sudden bursts of sound that continually surprise. From the early burst of sound on “Otherside” to the hypnotic forward march of “Valley” (another album standout), No Shape surprises you with a constant intimacy punctuated by thwarted expectations.

All the music is characterized by a baroque sense of melodrama, but if No Shape has one defining quality, from “No Shape” to more delicate tracks like “Every Night,” it’s confidence. Hadreas is in complete control of his extensive gifts, trusting his instincts to guide to someplace at once comforting and foreign. He achieves both on nearly every track. Occasionally, No Shape can come off as somewhat saccharine, twee pushed past its melting point. “Just Like Love” is one such example, though it undoubtedly suffers from coming immediately after “Slip Away,” a tough act to follow. The danger of leading with such an incredible track is always that everything else seems smaller.

More often than not, however, this album brings you into its world and convinces you that love really is redemptive, that it can hold back the hounds at the gate. Hadreas, one imagines, knows this better than most. While the music of Perfume Genius has always had been richly authentic, it’s especially so in No Shape. Many of these songs are inspired in part by Alan Wyffels, Hadreas’s boyfriend, and musical collaborator for the past eight years. The last song on the album is named for Alan; it immerses you like a cloud, then lifts you up with it as Hadreas howls, “Rest easy, I’m here. How weird!” Like Perfume Genius, love is many things, weird in so many wonderful ways.

thanks Prettymuchamazing