Perfume Genius: A 'Creepy, Beautiful Mix'

YouTube

Mike Hadreas describes the sound of Perfume Genius as "that kind of creepy, beautiful mix of things — that warm wash of something that is beautiful, but unsettling at the same time."

A Seattle songwriter, Hadreas writes lyrics that can be hard to hear, with subjects like teen suicide and his own mother's experience with sexual abuse.

"It can be a very lonely thing," Hadreas says. "But I wanted to clap for my mom, I suppose, and just let her know that all that courage is filtered down to me, hopefully. Or at least I admire it a lot."

You could hear Perfume Genius' songs as therapy — Hadreas says that's a legitimate view — but also a call to take people as they are. In the video for "Take Me Home," he plays a male prostitute walking the deserted streets of Seattle's industrial district, with the song offering acceptance and respect.

"I wear heels and a football-jersey dress in the last video, you know," Hadreas says, "and then I'll be at a show and I'll see another boy in a dress or something smiling up at me, and that's part of the reason why I do it."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.