Mike Hadreas, who moonlights as Perfume Genius, is an LGBTQ+ icon for the ages.
Hadreas’ music is vulnerable poetry packaged in upbeat rhythms. His four available albums explore a range of topics, namely: sexuality; his struggle with Crohn’s disease; domestic abuse; the threats posed to queer people in the fractured crapshow of contemporary society. These themes raise their heads once more in Hadreas’ latest single, On the Floor.
Released 16/3/20, the suggestively titled On the Floor is Perfume Genius’ second single for his upcoming album Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. SMHOFI is Hadreas’ fifth studio album, due for release this spring. As Perfume Genius, Hadreas boasts a ten year career and a multifaceted discography. Male pronouns are peppered throughout this pop-rock track, openly declaring the queer love that Perfume Genius extends. ‘I’m trying / But still I close my eyes / The dreaming / Bringing his face to mine’. However, the taste of uncertainty and regret woven throughout echoes something of the conflict felt by many queer people coming to terms with their sexuality.
Sonically, the track blends HAIM ‘The Wire’-esque funky guitar with Perfume Genius’ signature delicate vocals. Thumping percussion comes in every bar or so, especially when punctuating each and every syllable of ‘I cross out his name on the page’. And then, in bleeds self-executed percussion that makes that track that touch more personal.
Hadreas also released an accompanying, self-directed music video under Matador Records. This video details the dirt-clad chanteur rolling around in the mud with his alter ego, in a sensual, tension-filled battle. The contemporary dance performance consistently teeters on the edge of desire – fulfilling the message of the track: ‘The violent/ Current of energy / I hide it / Away and underneath’.
This track is congruous to the entirety of Hadreas’ discography: personal, delicate and a big middle finger to adversity.