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Home / Fashion / Perfume Genius Talks Camp, American Masculinity, and Marlon Brando’s Tank Tops

Perfume Genius Talks Camp, American Masculinity, and Marlon Brando’s Tank Tops

“Can disruption be beautiful?” asks Ocean Vuong, the award-winning poet, author and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, in his introduction to Perfume Genius’s new album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. Vuong goes on to describe a body that represents the record, one that “sings itself into the future,” a body that is “queer, healing, troubled, wounded, possible, and gorgeous.”

For Mike Hadreas, the 38-year-old mastermind behind Perfume Genius and whose new record is released today, the words reflect his complicated relationship with both his own body and how he relates to the bodies of others. It’s a subject that has served as a running theme throughout much of his music—often relayed through the prism of Hadreas’s experiences of addiction, sexual abuse, and Crohn’s disease—and one that he returns to in bracingly candid terms with his latest release. “It’s just that stuff that’s in-between or underneath,” says Hadreas over a video call from his home in Los Angeles. “What I admire about Ocean is that he perfectly puts a name on and describes something that was indescribable before, some feeling, and it’s beautiful, too. I just greedily wanted some of that to be connected to it in some way.”

About Shafay Shahid

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