NPR logo
Perfume Genius: A 'Creepy, Beautiful Mix'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Perfume Genius: A 'Creepy, Beautiful Mix'
Perfume Genius: A 'Creepy, Beautiful Mix'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


All through this year, we've been bringing you the latest music on air and online. Now, as we approach the year's end, we're catching up on some music we missed. Today, we hear from this singer-songwriter in Seattle.

MIKE HADREAS: I'm Mike Hadreas, and I sing in Perfume Genius.


PERFUME GENIUS: (Singing) You would never call me baby, if you knew true.

MONTAGNE: NPR Music chose this track from Perfume Genius's second album as one of its 50 favorite songs of the year. Mike Hadreas describes his sound this way.

HADREAS: That kind of creepy, beautiful mix of things. It's kind of like this warm wash of something that's beautiful, but unsettling at the same time.

MONTAGNE: The topics he covers are unsettling, subjects like teen suicide. This next one is exceptionally hard to hear, and for Mike Hadreas to tell. It's about his own mother's experience of sexual abuse.


PERFUME GENIUS: (Singing) The hands of God were bigger than grandpa's eyes, but still he broke the elastic on your waist. But he'll never break you, baby.

HADREAS: It can be a very lonely thing, but I wanted to clap for my mom, I suppose, and just let her know all that courage is, you know, filtered down to me, hopefully - or at least I admire it a lot.

MONTAGNE: You could hear these songs as therapy. Hadreas thinks of them as that, and also a call to take people as they are. In this music video, he plays a male prostitute walking the deserted streets of Seattle's industrial district, with a song offering a kind of acceptance and respect.


PERFUME GENIUS: (Singing) Take me home, tend to me baby, lay me down easy, for I have grown weary on my own.

HADREAS: And I wear, you know, heels and like a football jersey dress in the last video, you know. And then I will be at a show and I will see, like, another boy in a dress or something smiling up at me. And it's part of the reason why I do it.

MONTAGNE: For 2012, Out magazine named Mike Hadreas one of the most influential LGBT people of the year. You can hear songs from Perfume Genius at And on MORNING EDITION, we'll be bringing you more music we missed in the days ahead.


PERFUME GENIUS: (Singing) I will carry on. I will carry on...

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the 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.