Song of the Day, July 2: Hood by Perfume Genius

perfumegenius-hoodToday’s song is an example of reality mirroring art. After a solid debut, Mike Hadreas turned out a brilliant second album under his musical name, Perfume Genius. Put Your Back N 2 It is a strong collection of intimate songs, often focusing on insecurity and romantic doubt. As a gay man, Hadreas includes significant reflections on homophobia and the power of public disapproval to tarnish affection and love.

Hood is a song of fragile beauty. Hadreas ponders his value as a someone who can love and be loved.

You would never call me baby
If you knew me truly
Oh, but I waited so long for your love

It’s a brief song that perfectly captures insecurity and hope.

Hadreas made a touching video to accompany the song, featuring himself with porn star Arpad Miklos. The pair are scantily clad — symbolizing their vulnerability — and offer each other tender touches and glances. It’s a moving set of images that work nicely with the lyrics. Unfortunately, when Matador Records tried to market the album using a pre-roll clip from the video, YouTube banned the ad, saying that it wasn’t “family safe”. Fortunately, the video itself is available to enjoy.

Ironically, YouTube’s stance underscores the insecurities and doubts that homophobia creates in too many lives every day. Hadreas used the experience to inform his bold, angry declaration of independence, Queen, from his complicated third album. Let’s be grateful that he is committed to honest, powerful songs and enjoy this beautiful track today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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