“Don’t you know your queen?” asks Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas on the single “Queen.” The Seattle native sings about homophobia in poised fashion on the steady and stoic track. Though Hadreas exercises self-restraint in the vocals, “Queen” comes from a more fervent place, as does his whole album, Too Bright. Not one to shy away from personal experience, Perfume Genius writes about his frustration with society’s intolerant on the LP.
In an interview with The Beat, Perfume Genius remarked, “I don’t want respect for just being a man, I want respect. I don’t care if people think I’m a man. I don’t care what they think I am. I want them to listen to me if I’m trying to be listened to, I want them to not give me shit on the fucking street, I want them to not think they can come up to me and say whatever they want when they wouldn’t do that to other people.”
Perfume Genius works in playful lyrics on “Queen” in response to the haters, like the line “No family is safe / When I sashay.” Though I would argue that everyone should learn to sashay right after they learn to walk, but that’s beside the point.
The genius behind Hadreas’ confessional pop is that he’s not afraid to serve up a hot serving of reality while having some fun with it in the process.
So once again, “don’t you know your queen?”
Feature image: Angel Ceballos