Perfume Genius: Show Preview

Don't be tricked by the poppy title of Perfume Genius' Put Your Back N 2 It. The latest release from Seattle resident Mike Hadreas occupies the same solemn, tortured space formerly filled by Elliott Smith. A soft, dulcet piano glides up and down, meticulous swaths of reverb move slowly and steadily, and Hadreas sings like he could burst into tears at any instant. Throw in some extras to spice things up, and weep, rinse, repeat. Yet much like Smith, Hadreas affords his music enough gravitas and honesty to keep the misery captivating. His story is also rich with juicy details — he was legitimately terrified by the devil as a child, he first composed songs on a headset microphone and the family piano after substance abuse problems, and he's been deeply skeptical of his talents. If Hadreas keeps up the soul-searing work, his biography should make a hell of a ride.

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