Hannah Peel describes the tracks on the Society of Sound release:
By using sparse percussion and echoing the psychedelic textures, I tried to magnify the lyrics that Perfume Genius uses to handle the scarring homophobic insults but more personally for me, insults aimed at people that are different.
Let the Laughter In
A rolling sonic kaleidoscope of hiccup peaks, of which I have had daily for years… It ended up in the track accidently and stayed.
Pale Green Ghosts
The original fuses the epic grandeur of Rachmaninoff’s classical composition with analogue electronics. Trying to retain this splendor would be impossible on the music box especially as it lacks so many notes! So I used my multi-layered vocals and punched out a harp-like music box piece, keeping the sense of experimentation that inspired Grant to write the song in the first place – ‘he was recalling his own adolescent enthusiasm for electronic pioneers such as Cabaret Voltaire and Yello,’
A piano daydream of reflections and echoes: a moment to delve into the past.
The lyrics to me are about finding a home and being comfortable with that place in life. Realizing any place can be a palace and home is definitely where the heart is. It felt like the track wanted to be stripped back to the barebones of just voice and music box. No reverb or production effects were needed… as though I was playing in the room with you.
I’ve had a saying over the last few years that can get me through tougher times… ‘Onwards’. The rolling minor Kraut-rock pulse leading to a major chord at the end, felt like it was looking to the future and I didn’t ever want it to stop.
Heaven How Long
‘In spite of all the love inside me, there is a question I’ve been asking. Heaven, how long?’ … Echoed by strings to a full soaring ending with the infinitely longing lyrics…
Silk Road was inspired by Marco Polo’s journey along the famous route to the east and his meeting with the Chinese Emperor, Kublai Khan. The rolling synth-like harp and the deep undercurrent of the synth bass, just like the silk road train tracks that were later built in modern times across the ancient path. ‘From dark to blazing bright’, moving us forward towards new journeys.
This song was about what happens when the life you literally build with someone, falls apart and you’re left with nothing. So many people become reliant within their four walls and forget what it is to love and be loved, until something changes this. Life is short and the lyrics were a personal reminder to step outside everyday…not just work.
It’s really hard to try and live a life without regrets, that’s not to say it isn’t possible. A song about following your heart and sticking with it no matter what your head says!
We have so much stuff around us in life now, sometimes I think we amass more things around us to distract or even dampen down our emotions. Yet is the world we live in just fabricated and painted on for show like the ‘paper moon’ on a stage set? Does any of it really matter at the end of the day if you end up lonely and living in a flat pack room?