Come 20th September, the same people that brought you JJ, The Drums, and asobi seksu is heralding yet another amazing musician onto our shores – Mike Hadreas, otherwise known as Perfume Genius.

 

A little bit Bartowski and a little bit Plath, Hadreas is somewhat of your quintessential tortured artist. After spending a large part of his life battling various addictions, as well as depression, he finally achieves catharsis in music, and released his full-length debut album ‘Learning’ in June 2010.

 

The tracks in the album are arranged in the order in which they were recorded, an unusual move of chronology that is fully revealing of Hadrea’s healing process as well as his emotional ebbs and flows. One of the standout songs in the album is the title track, which blends melodious piano playing with heartbreaking tender and earnest vocals.  Another memorable one is ‘Mr Peterson’, a short but ultimately deeply moving song. The lo-fi nature of the record makes us strain to listen to and appreciate his every word, and conjures up a sense of wistfulness and regret that touches a different place in each of our hearts.

 

For some strange reason, this album reminds me strongly of the 1999 novel ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chobsky. Perhaps it’s the sincere and melancholy delivery. Perhaps it’s the inclusion of details that only wallflowers would notice and remember, like ‘he made me a tape of Joy Division’. Or perhaps it’s his unexpected way of describing things, like ‘your father before you / and your sister too / your husband and blah blah blah blah’.

 

The unpretentious nature of Hadreas’ music will definitely be conveyed with greater impact live, and set you off reminiscing about all that’s right— and wrong —with being a teenager.  Don’t miss your chance to catch his performance for one night only, at the Arts House.
-Yishu

For more information on the Perfume Genius gig and 4imaginaryboys, visit http://4imaginaryboys.com.