Fresh Music Friday: The National, Perfume Genius, Car Seat Headrest

Leo Lovesy, Georgina Noack, Rhea Thomas, and Patrick McKenzie share their thoughts on Perfume Genius’ dreamy single, The National’s cover of an Australian classic, and Car Seat Headrest’s synth-tinged reinvention.

“Describe” – Perfume Genius

Leo: Kind of grungy but doesn’t make it all the way for me with its mellow vibes, mediocre vocals and the garage rock aesthetic – leaves a lot to be desired.

Georgina: The song feels like a late night drive around town after a downpour of rain??? It has a cinematic quality, like it was made to be played underneath a deeply therapeutic DM with your friend.

Rhea: The bridge is haunting and sensitive, and provides much needed sonic variety – btw, Beach House? Do you hear this?

Patrick: What lacks in lyrical variety is made up for in sonic density. A fuzzy rumination with a glittery outro that’s transcendent but not quite in the ways we’ve seen from Perfume Genius in the past.

“Never Tear Us Apart” – The National

Leo: Super sexy vibe and with some parts that slap, sticks to the original while having its own unique voice.

Georgina: It doesn’t have the same punch as the iconic INXS original (tbh, nothing ever will), but pays enough homage and gives enough original spin that, I think, Michael Hutchence would be OK with.

Rhea: Faithful to the original but incredibly natural to The National – a sexy mix of sounds.

Patrick: A fresh cover that stands up to the original and then some. Lead singer Matt Berninger’s glorious baritone is masterfully layered and that horn section solo is o-so-glorious. Fingers crossed this makes an appearance on their Australian tour next month!

“Can’t Cool Me Down” – Car Seat Headrest

Leo: Funky sounds and Toledo’s voice is pretty jarring but the weird mix grows on you.

Georgina: Definitely a toe-tapper and a head-bopper, but it has cooled me down. I’m not sure I’ll be racing back to it soon, but it could grow on me.

Rhea: This is so clean, smooth and easy and uh – surprisingly cool?

Patrick: Will and the gang are back and no less obsessed with confessional ballads. That said, it still works! Instrumentation that showcases an almost Postal Service-esque warmth makes me curious for what’s to come.