Mike Hadreas, (also known as Perfume Genius) by all acounts has not had an easy life. Quoted as saying “I spent my whole life hiding from the things that happened to me, to my family and friends...The entirety of all these experiences: abuse, addiction, suicide, all that cool stuff, I couldn’t bear to look at it.” As Perfume Genius, he has transformed all of these things into some utterly fantastic music.
His sound is sparse with an ethereal feel, normally just his vocals and a piano, or very occasionally a guitar. The lyrics are desperately honest, and his voice is gentle, almost breaking in places but with a haunting strength to the sound. Several of his songs were floating around on the internet before the release of his debut album, Learning. These songs (such as Mr Peterson) caught the attention of many, and by the time the album was actually released on Turnstile he had quite a following, and not without reason, the music he makes is really something very special.
Every song I have heard by Perfume Genius is genuinely heartbreaking in some way, he's playing his first live show in London soon and it has almost, if not actually sold out, promising to be an evening that will not be forgotten.
Not bad for someone who's bio used to read "might be dead, cool guy".