Since the release of 2017's "No Shape", Mike Hadreas has gone from a cultishly beloved art-pop auteur to grazing the outskirts of the mainstream, with his songs beginning to permeate the atmosphere more and more by way of frequent TV and movie syncs. It was enough to make you wonder what might happen when he released a follow-up, and it turns out we won’t have to wonder much longer. The fifth Perfume Genius album, "Set My Heart on Fire Immediately", will be out in May.
Recorded in Los Angeles, the new album found Hadreas once more teaming with producer Blake Mills. A press release describes it as an album that “subverts concepts of masculinity and traditional roles” while introducing “decidedly American” musical DNA. “I wanted to feel more open, more free and spiritually wild,” Hadreas said in a statement. “And I’m in a place now where those feelings are very close — but it can border on being unhinged. I wrote these songs as a way to be more patient, more considered — to pull at all these chaotic threads hovering around me and weave them in to something warm, thoughtful, and comforting.” Apparently, the album was partially inspired by Hadreas’ collaboration with Kate Wallich’s dance company the YC on last year’s performance "The Sun Still Burns Here", in which he not only performed but also contributed music (“Eye In The Wall” came out of that era).
The first single, "Describe", is a pretty different sound than what we might’ve expected after "No Shape" — all corroded distortion and guttural guitars, until these flickers of beauty start to cut through the murk. Hadreas’ voice is lower in the mix, as if he’s fighting to make himself emerge from the messiness of the track —, and comes with a video directed by Hadreas and featuring the YC.