Move over Iggy Azalea. Seattle-based artist Mike Hadreas has delivered an unlikely candidate for this year’s song of the summer — but it’s one hell of a jam. His musical alter ego, Perfume Genius, comes back swinging in his new single, “Queen,” off the upcoming LP Too Bright.
With the standout lyric, “No family is safe when I sashay,” the song is a gentle but resounding fuck you based off of Hadreas’ personal experience with “gay panic” — a general attitude he has received from being a queer boy in a patriarchal world.
“Sometimes I see faces of blank fear when I walk by… if these fucking people want to give me some power — if they see me as some sea witch with penis tentacles that are always prodding and poking and seeking to convert the muggles — well, here she comes.”
Here he comes indeed. The music video directed by fellow queer artist SSION is equal parts David Bowie and Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s a slow motion fantasy world, where Hadreas is depicted as a brazen, gender-bending riot-starter who breaks into the corporate offices to smash outdated computers and writhe on bland and boring old businessmen with the help of a few.
The “Queen” video subverts another current queer theme: the gay teen suicide. It ends with Hadreas’ character jumping off a building, only to be welcomed by a perky group of cheerleaders celebrating his early demise.
Perfume Genius’ third album, Too Bright, will be released by Matador Records on September 23, and it features Portishead’s Adrian Utley and PJ Harvey’s longtime collaborator John Parish.
Starting next month, Hadreas will embark on a world tour to promote the album. Tour dates below.
p.s. While you’re on the queer music fix, watch the amazing video for “I Try To Talk You” by Hercules & Love Affair.
08-01 Katowice, Poland – OFF Festival
08-02 London, England – Visions Festival
08-27 Brussels, Belgium – Feeerieen
08-28 Cardigan, Wales – Mas Mas
08-30 Salisbury, England – End of the Road Festival
09-01 Glasgow, Scotland – Centre for Contemporary Arts
09-02 Manchester, England – Band on the Wall
09-03 Ramsgate, England – Ramsgate Music Hall
09-07 Milan, Italy – MITO SettembreMusica
09-08 Rome, Italy – Circolo degli Artisti
09-09 Bologna, Italy – Locomotiv Club
09-26 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
09-27 Denver, CO – Hi Dive
09-29 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room
09-30 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
10-01 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
10-02 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10-04 Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
10-06 Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
10-07 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10-08 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
10-09 Washington, DC – The Hamilton
10-10 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room
10-11 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
10-13 Dallas, TX – Three Links
10-14 Austin, TX – The Parish
10-16 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
10-17 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
10-19 Los Angeles, CA – Roxy Theatre
10-21 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
10-22 Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s
10-24 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
10-25 Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
11-11 Paris, France – La Maroquinerie
11-12 Zurich, Switzerland – Exil
11-13 Lausanne, Switzerland – Le Romandie
11-14 Leuven, Belgium – Depot
11-16 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
11-17 Berlin, Germany – Lido
11-18 Heidelberg, Germany – Pret-a-ecouter Festival
11-19 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet
11-21 Utrecht, Netherlands – Le Guess Who Festival
11-23 Edinburgh, Scotland – Caves
11-24 Leeds, England – The Wardrobe
11-25 Birmingham, England – Oobleck
11-26 Brighton, England – The Haunt
11-27 London, England – Islington Assembly Hall