Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Perfume Genius - Learning

This single was actually released last summer and the album is climbing towards its one year anniversary, but I feel that it's still deserving of a few words.  It's never too late to discover music, right?  Perfume Genius is Seattle's Mike Hadreas.  His music is mostly made up of a piano, that sounds slightly out of tune at times, and his small emotional voice.  Much of his work is extremely lo-fi.  The songs echo and buffer as though you're hearing him play them live from a neighboring room across a long hallway.  I first heard of his work last year, but since Hadreas is currently working on his sophomore album, I revisited his older material for another listen.

The title track from his debut album is "Learning".  I'm not quite certain as to what is so appealing about this song.  Is it the simplistic melody and chords?  Maybe it's the innocent vulnerability in his voice.  The combination of these elements make the lonely "Learning" mesmerizing.  Hadreas' voice isn't particularly strong traditionally speaking, but it's unique and honest, and that makes it strong in a different way.

Perfume Genius has a few European shows later this year.  His live performances consist of the very same components that are found on the album, his piano and voice.  He is joined onstage by his backing musician, and boyfriend, Alan Wyffels, who plays various keyboards.  It's all reminiscent of Antony And The Johnsons, without the haunting vibrato.

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