Album Review

Perfume Genius - Ugly Season

An album in its truest form, a record to sit with and take in as one whole.

Perfume Genius - Ugly Season
‘Pop Song’ and ‘Eye In The Wall’ from this record dropped originally in 2019; the first an ever-atypical synth-led outing and the second a sprawling, nine-minute, largely instrumental opus. Both form part of the Perfume Genius-written, and Kate Wallich-choreographed ‘The Sun Still Burns Here’ dance project. Three years later, ‘Ugly Season’ arrives as the full collection of music from the performance art piece centred around the body and eroticism, bringing with it a vast otherworldly multi-instrumental soundscape. That ‘Pop Song’, itself far removed from the sound of its title, is the most immediately accessible track on the album goes some way to explain ‘Ugly Season’’s spiralling unpredictability. The record is predominantly instrumental, save Mike Hadreas’ falsetto vocals often enveloped under layers of shifting tones. The electronic explorations of ‘Eye In The Wall’ sit against the harrowing organ of ‘Harem’ and the gentle glockenspiel of ‘Teeth’. For long-time fans, it all sounds exactly as he should sound devoid of convention or song structure. At times it flows and glides, and at others it deliberately jars and twists. Everything is written as part of a wider piece. There aren’t any standalone tracks, with the arguable exception of ‘Pop Song’. In that sense this is an album in its truest form, a record to sit with and take in as one whole. Do that, and it’s impossible not to get lost in the unique art of Perfume Genius.

Tags: Perfume Genius, Reviews, Album Reviews

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