Perfume Genius — Set My Heart On Fire Immediately — Album Review

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Indie Pop | Chamber Pop

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

My experience (or the little that I had experienced) from chamber pop artist Perfume Genius was pretty much the same kind of situation as Algiers, in which both artists released critically acclaimed albums in 2017, which I only skimmed across at the time.

However, I did pick up on a specific track from both Algiers and Perfume Genius. In the case of the latter (who we’ll be covering today), his previous album, 2017’s No Shape, was brimming with vast and epic atmosphere, and my favourite track from said album would have to be the now iconic “Slip Away”.

But for whatever reason I never ventured fully into that piece or listen to it critically. So here is my chance to redeem myself somewhat; by delving deep into Perfume Genius’ newest album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately.

Many of the albums that I end up adoring ultimately normally have one common theme; that on the initial listen, they seem like hard projects to digest. Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is no different. Therefore, I had the hopeful feeling that this would indeed grow on me with each listen that followed.

To elaborate on the fulness of the album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is a 50 minute long project with 13 tracks listed. The most common stylistic layout to be found on this album is the deep and ambient kind. And while this newest project feels a little lacking in the explosive and colourful musical bursts that felt quite abundant on No Shape, it makes up for that and then some with the maturity of it sound.

Furthermore, this mature and ambient sound was what contributed to this album being a challenge to digest at the beginning. But despite this, this album does still have a few energetic nuggets, but just few enough for each of them to stand out quite considerably. In particular, “On The Floor” sticks out like a sore thumb with its sunny, joyful and prancing sound, but still remains the albums most notable highlight in my opinion.

Back-tracking to the point I made about my thoughts on the album growing on me with each listen, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately succeeded in doing exactly that. A lot of the more ambient tracks were rapidly catching up to the likes of the more energetic songs in appeal. In fact, I felt that with my most recent listen, my opinions towards what my favourite songs are shifted once more.

I also came to notice that this softer approach in most of the album’s songs intertwine perfectly with Perfume Genius’ vocals and really brings out the immense beauty in them, as well as versatility. On songs like “Whole Life”, “Jason” and “Just A Touch”, you can hear this best.

And while Set My Heart Of Fire Immediately feels like an exciting new direction from an already brilliant previous project, this new album also manages to remain colourful and serene enough to be unmistakably Perfume Genius’ project, and another leap forward from this immensely innovative and unique artist.

I definitely feel like this project is only going to grow on me even more now at this point, and I have a good hunch that it may even become a 2020 equivalent to Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising, in terms of how much this album’s sound rushes through my soul like a velvet storm of emotion.

Favourite Tracks: Leave | On The Floor | Some Dream

Least Favourite Track: Moonbend

Matador Records

9/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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