Perfume Genius performed a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Bird On The Wire’ for a residency at Los Angeles’ KCRW station yesterday (September 8).
The musician, real name Mike Hadreas, also played ‘On The Floor’ and ‘Jason’, from his latest album ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately’.
Explaining his vision for the cover, Hadreas said he imagined playing it with a “big pipe organ”.
“If I could play this cover anywhere, I think I’d want to play in a big church with a big pipe organ, or if we could somehow get the pipe organ into like a deep dark cave,” he said, before launching into his rendition of the song.
Listen to the full set below, with the Cohen cover at the 9-minute mark.
Hadreas also provided context for the second single off ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately’, ‘On The Floor’, saying it was about the sometimes debilitating effect of having a crush.
“I wrote ‘On The Floor’ about the idea of a crush, and how when it becomes desperate and obsessive, it can turn into this thing that lives on its own separate from you and almost detached from the person you care about,” he said.
“Its own weird world with fictions and ideas all swirling around, and how it can be like a plague on you, and really taxing.”
Hadreas released ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately’ earlier this year, with NME giving the album four stars.
“Mike Hadreas takes inspiration from classic pop, drawing on Cyndi Lauper and Elvis, but deconstructs the sounds in his own understated way,” NME‘s Luke Morgan Britton wrote.
Since releasing the record, Hadreas has performed a few socially distanced shows, including a set on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier this year. He also appeared on a remote episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month, performing an at-home rendition of ‘Whole Life’.
He will play a virtual livestream from Los Angeles’ Palace Theatre on September 19, backed by a six-piece band and string quartet.