Photo by Lior Phillips
Since about 2014, Perfume Genius has occasionally incorporated a rendition of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s 1988 song “Body’s In Trouble” into his live shows. Now, the singer-songwriter born Mike Hadreas has officially recorded and released his emotional cover as part of a recent Spotify Singles session in New York City.
“I started covering this song on tour almost immediately after hearing it for the first time,” explained Hadreas in a press statement. “I was so struck by her command and presence even though she weaves in and out of being present. Her vocal is somehow on the rhythm and completely around it, lyrics and chords are repeated throughout but there is no real center.”
“There are brief moments where the music fully connects in a traditional way but after a few listens the most satisfying part is the song’s magic formlessness. I wouldn’t dare try to mimic or recapture her performance, but I tried to sing in the same wandering, mantra-like way — but taking it somewhere a little more sinister. I’ve lost count of how many times I use the word “body” in my songs.
He added, “My relationship with my own body is confusing and I use music to try and puzzle it out, or as rebellion against needing a form at all. Playing this cover onstage every night I use her lyric to phase in and out of both of those ideas.”
Hear the cover below, which is coupled with a live version of “Slip Away”, taken from the latest (and excellent) Perfume Genius album, No Shape.
Revisit a live performance of the cover from 2014. Hadreas will be touring for the next couple of months.