Matthew James has always played in bands, but his solo venture with Perfume resembles nothing that has come before. After what he describes as a “difficult” move from San Francisco to LA two and a half years ago, one that dampened his creative drive and threatened his mental health, Perfume arose out of necessity, an act of self preservation that pulled him from his barren malaise. Its chiming synth melodies represent an entirely new approach to music for him, not only is he independent but looking inward, fusing new wave influences with a raw sense of cathartic redemption.
In the process, he has taken full control over all aspects of production but more importantly, reconciled his persistent anxiety with a newfound freedom of being alone on stage. With help from Low and Slow, the duo of Natalie Bonilla and Alexander Gonzalez, Perfume has found its home in the trusting intimacy of underground venues across the city. Currently in the middle of recording his debut album, James is a product of the scene he now actively contributes to, filling the city’s all-age venues, old commercial blocks and re-purposed warehouses with his urgent cries of purgatory.
Inside an abandoned warehouse-cum-rehearsal space, Matthew James plugged in for an exclusive HERO Sessions performance. Turn off the lights, slide up the volume and go full screen.
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