Ugly Season (Matador)
With each of Perfume Genius’ records being mostly unrecognisable from the last, except for Mike Hadreas’ icebreaker falsetto vocal and Blake Mills’ highly praised production, Ugly Season is a fluid, standalone album that dares to exist within the same timeframe as its predecessor while being that bit more avant-garde.
Its 2020 predecessor, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, interlinked ballad styles of pop, moaning guitar walls and fascinating choices of rich, heartfelt instrumentality. Working once again alongside collaborator and long-time partner Alan Wyffels, Perfume Genius has created something cinematic that sees the shaky, vibrato yet bright state of the human voice reprocessed and heightened, such as on the operatic, build-and-release of Teeth. The title track does the opposite – offbeat, close, the vocals thickened and in a lower register.
With Ugly Season often happily arriving at moments of dissonances as it does harmony, Photograph features brushing percussion and layers of tantalising layering, while Pop Song’s ethereal sonics push synthesizers, harps and littered creative percussion to the forefront of its five-minute timestamp.
words EMMA WAY
Looking for something to do?
The Ultimate Guide to What’s on in Wales!