When we last checked in on Mike Hadreas, the musician behind the spellbinding pop of Perfume Genius, he was writing music "to be sung when the mountain of bodies settles in position and is held still" — at least, that was how he described one of the songs from The Sun Still Burns Here, his 2019 collaboration with choreographer Kate Wallich and her company The YC.
Today, Perfume Genius has announced a new album, marvelously titled Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, and the first single from it, "Describe," which features a gloriously fuzzed-out guitar tone and Hadreas' lovely, ethereal voice. Hadreas also directed the song's video, which is full of simulated knife fights, subversive masculine posturing and magnificent choreography set in a big, open landscape. In a press release, Hadreas says the video envisions "an end of the world where there are no boundaries, there are no edges, no rules, or the rules are completely new with how you interact with each other and the space around you."
Both in the video's shots of a writhing mass of bodies and in the song's incandescent closing minutes, "Describe" is reminiscent of The Sun Still Burns Here. The new album draws on the sense of community he felt while working on that project: "I wrote these songs as a way to be more patient, more considered," he says, "to pull at all these chaotic threads hovering around me and weave them in to something warm, thoughtful and comforting."
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is out May 15 via Matador.