For the bulk of is career, Mike Hadreas under the moniker Perfume Genius has given us gut wrenching honesty wrapped in swaddles of tone and pop sounds that were hard not to fall for. Few artists have the ability to remind you of the past while embarking on a new path like Perfume Genius, and his new album Set My Heart On Fire Immediately continues that sentiment. Full of lush arrangements and honest reflection, the album contains beautiful passages that you can’t forget.
The entire release holds this magical sway where the worlds of pop and singer songwriter intertwine. The opening track “Whole Life” sets the stage for this idea. The way the song begins like a prelude gets met with intricate piano while Hadreas’ vocals cut through like a soft butterfly heading for the clouds. While “Describe” holds snarling guitars, it’s still a Perfume Genius track which means that the beauty comes through with those tones as the backdrop. This occurs again on the catchy and upbeat sounds of “On The Floor” where the guitars help make for a new touch to the songwriter’s earnest gaze.
But while there are songs that are definitely upbeat and offer new twists to what pop music can be, there’s also these organically honest tracks. “Jason” has these falsetto vocals that only elevate the song’s intent while things stay catchy but at a slower pace. Perfume Genius is taking things another step in terms of songwriting here, and it’s all beautifully orchestrated. “Just a Touch” has all the makings of an earnest love song while the gentle arrangements escalate the vocals to where they don’t leave your head after they come out. And while “One More Try” and “Some Dream” offer two beautifully graced songs the favorite comes with “Moondbend.” The stark nature of how the song is arranged that meets with those vocals give way to an orchestral tone like you’ve never experienced. The doubled vocals add a heft to an already weighted track while the stakes keep getting higher and higher. The song is vastly different from the rest of the album, yet it works well and fits perfectly. Set My Heart On Fire Immediately feels like Perfume Genius at his most honest, while delivering his best written works to date.
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately can be purchased physically directly from Matador Records. It’s also ready to stream on all streaming sites or to purchase in all digital outlets.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Matador Records.