Ambie’s Album of the Month: Ugly Season by Perfume Genius

Mike Hadreas, under the moniker of Perfume Genius, has been producing quirky art pop for over a decade but on this album he takes his most experimental direction yet. On first listen this might feel like a collection of unrelated sounds, however, it’s this boundless breadth that makes this such a captivating listen. The variety of soundscapes here range from the gorgeous ambient pop of Pop Song to the shuddering industrial dynamics of Hellbent. We hear pianos and strings played in a way reminiscent of modern minimalist composers giving way to waves of foreboding synths, dub beats, and swells of orchestra.

Although there might be less outright singing here than on other Perfume Genius albums, it feels just as personal, a true lesson in saying less and feeling more. Themes of queerness, disability, and the relationship with our own bodies are explored here in a less narrative way than his previous work instead favouring symbolism and abstraction. The beautiful crystalline falsetto of Hadrea feels fragile most of the time here, but always commands complete attention of the listener.

On this album Perfume Genius has really put the art into art pop and created something altogether new.

Ambie’s expert team of Curators are always curious and on the prowl in search of the next pop banger or that dusty, long-forgotten B-side. Let our team take your brand’s music brief from sketch to completion and watch your space transform. 

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