“Wreath,” off of No Shape, Perfume Genius’ fantastic album from May, is a painfully personal song about his strained relationship with his body and with gender. Yet, as he proved on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, it was also the perfect track for an in-person and broadcast audience because it’s the kind of subdued anthem that’s familiar enough to command attention and engaging enough to keep it.
Perfume Genius was the show’s musical guest last night, and donning chaps and and oversized dress shirt, he performed the hell out of the song, singing about how freeing it would be if he didn’t have to worry about his body holding him back, due to his Crohn’s disease and “not [feeling] strongly connected to being a man or a woman,” as he has previously said: “Burn off every trace / I wanna hover with no shape / I wanna feel the days go by / Not stack up.”
For a web-exclusive video, he also performed No Shape album track “Just Like Love,” a slower number about staying true to yourself, especially when it’s tough to do that: “Sleeve cut just off the shoulder / You are christening the shape / They’ll talk / Give them every reason / For child, you walk / Just like love.”
Watch the performances of “Wreath” and “Just Like Love” above. Also, revisit Perfume Genius premiering and discussing a very polished demo of album track “Slip Away” here.