Ever since the door swung shut on that north woods cabin, we all felt like Justin entered a future we had imagined as kids. It was an obsessive, simple dream we shared as teenagers growing up in Wisconsin: just music, always. For me that started with Justin asking: “Trev, wanna be in a band?” as we passed each other in the hallway in front of our high school’s trophy case. From then on, along with five of our closest friends, we played anything together, giving everything a go. From jazz standards and ska vamps, free improv freak-outs and marching band anthems to writing our own music. Through these musical experiences, we began to find and form our hearts collectively. All together we assembled musical materials that reflected and produced a shared consciousness that continues today: how we respond to certain tonalities, how to create atmospheres and what we want them to do, which harmonies bring forth places we seek out, how particular articulations can explain more than words can even begin to attempt. Motion and thoughts aligned. Collective goals formed piece by piece. This was how the dream began.
Known early as a poster-wraith for notorious, joyous, tortured and free boys, girls and their fellow travelers, the first two albums by Perfume Genius consisted largely of exquisite and cruelly abbreviated songs seemingly sung in the dark at a piano with all the silences left in. The previously most recent album, 2014’s Too Bright, stepped out saucily onto a bigger stage, expressing, with the production help of Adrian Utley, emotions arranged all along the slippery continuum from rage to irony to love. Now here we have seized the vocabulary of the full expression of all music.