Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately – Finding Hope in Decay

Perfume Genius released its newest album this week, Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately. The album is an exploration of lead-singer Mike Hadreas’s love and heartbreak and paints with a palette of symphonic strings and sparkling synths that swoon atop Hadreas’s breathy falsetto and raw, emotional lyrics. 

Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately centers on a singular theme: mourning. Hadreas seems to be grieving the lost spark of a crumbling relationship. In “Nothing At All,” he sings “You can say what you want but I already know/Our body is breaking down to a single beat.” Hadreas seems to be watching, hopeless from the sidelines, as his relationship deteriorates before him.

Despite these themes of loss, this album  is a project of hope. In lyrics like, “I promise every day to change/I cross out his name on the page,” and “A heart long desperate/For something I had all along/I don’t need your love,” Hadreas seems to be confronting the fundamental lesson of grief: acceptance. 

Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately is an album about losing everything that seems important and right. But it’s also about finding hope and strength in the shadow of that destruction.

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