Ugly Season

Ugly Season

Mike Hadreas’ music as Perfume Genius has always walked an interesting line between experimentalism and accessibility—pop for listeners more interested in “pop” as a concept than a reality. Written as a companion to a dance piece by choreographer Kate Wallich, Ugly Season effectively inverts the balance, situating Hadreas’ hallmarks—his romanticism, his expressivity, his startling, sometimes violent sense of drama—in the context of something that plays more like a symphony or soundtrack than a set of discrete songs. The title is a feint, of course: This is extremely beautiful music even in its dissonance, from the Philip Glass-like grid of “Teeth” and the spiderweb instrumental of “Scherzo” to the industrial roar of “Hellbent.” And just in case, he gives you something called “Pop Song”—which isn’t one, of course.

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