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First Spin: Hear Perfume Genius’ ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’

Not too long ago, Mike Hadreas’ Perfume Genius project faced certain peril: in the fall of 2010, as part of Matador Records’ 21st birthday celebration in Las Vegas, the Seattle native had been scheduled to follow labelmates, born showmen, and experienced noisemakers the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. That’s a tough slot for Superchunk, let alone a guy still getting comfortable
with sharing his songs from any-size stage. As he sat down at his keyboard, a quiet took hold over a room that had been happy to binge on distortion and feedback all weekend. Not a problem. Everyone one in that room was his for 20 minutes and change, rapt in the arresting, unassuming powers of Hadreas’ songwork. Next Tuesday, Matador will release Put Your Back N 2 It, a sophomore set of stark, piano-driven outpourings that, for the very first time, he wrote with an audience in mind. Check it out in its exclusive entirety: