When people talk about indie’s ongoing pivot from band-centric groups to solo songwriters, Perfume Genius almost always comes up (alongside Mitski, Car Seat Headrest, St. Vincent and Frankie Cosmos). But the fact that Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas is technically a singular unit might be the least interesting thing about him — or his music. The Seattle-based songwriter flirts with the orchestral and the intimate in his intricate and occasionally decadent pop compositions, each one more heart-wrenching than the last. But for all the grief and emotion present, Perfume Genius’s songs are fundamentally exercises in transcendence.
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