One of music’s most hyped acts of 2012, Perfume Genius has been getting tons of attention over the past few months, not only because he’s got a fantastic new album out, Put Your Back N 2 It, but because he and his label have fought a very public battle with YouTube over a relatively tame music video in which the artist cuddles with a (mostly clothed) porn star. Rallying gay rights activists, music bloggers, and even Michael Stipe to his cause, he has brought queer issues to the forefront of indie rock — a rare accomplishment, despite the fact that there’s no shortage of LGBT artists whose music falls into that ill-defined category.
While music fans are probably already familiar with the big names — Antony Hegarty, Beth Ditto of The Gossip, Scissor Sisters, Stephin Merrit of The Magnetic Fields, Tegan and Sara, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, Carrie Brownstein — we’re celebrating Perfume Genius’ new album by rounding up a few less well-known queer indie rockers who deserve your attention. Check out our picks after the jump, and add your own in the comments.
Fans of Antony and the Johnsons need to discover Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) ASAP. His introspective ballads can be intimate and grand at once, demanding our full attention and threatening to move us to tears. While his debut, 2010′s Learning, was a deeply troubled account of a rough, isolated period in Hadreas’ life, Put Your Back N 2 It addresses many of the same dark subjects from a place of growth and even grace. But the best thing about Perfume Genius is that, two albums in, he seems to just be finding his voice and audience. We can’t wait to hear what the next record brings.