Having a body can be a burden. Perfume Genius knows this all too well. Through numerous albums, the musician documents the frustration of having a body from Too Bright’s nihilistic “My Body” (“I wear my body like a rotted peach. You can have it if you handle the stink”) to the more uplifting yet no …
“It’s almost embarrassing to acknowledge how good things are…There’s something abnormal about it,” reflects Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas in an interview with FADER. With the release of his new album this week No Shape, a transcendent ode to romanticism, love and domesticity as redemption, Perfume Genius raises the question: What does utopia sound like?
Rather than depicting an It Gets Better-style representation of queerness, Perfume Genius’ album Too Bright portrays feelings ranging from disillusionment, melancholy, shame, stigma, loss and frequently a deep engagement with the sense of being trapped in one’s body.
In Pefume Genius’ song “Queen” off of their recently released album Too Bright, Mike Hadreas, the musician behind Perfume Genius, presents a defiant embrace of the homophobic stereotypes and fears surrounding gay effeminacy, namely the assumptions that effeminate gay men are diseased, threats to “The Family” and abject bottoms. Likewise, Robert Gober’s retrospective The Heart Is Not A Metaphor at the Museum of Modern Art resonates with a similar frank presentation of queer sexuality and homophobic notions surrounding it.