That Put Your Back N 2 It begins with gasping breaths is a handy portent for those ready to break out the body-pops.
The ironical Genius otherwise known as Seattle troubadour Mark Hadreas could hardly be less kinetic: his 2010 debut Learning was a skeletal series of piano reveries that served as a primer of quarter-life breakdown.
But where Learning drifted into the ether, this captivating follow-up thrives off harnessing his fragile sensibility to fulsome melodies. As piano chords ripple, and his falsetto hangs overhead, tracks such as "No Tear" boast the wintry beauty of Sufjan Stevens; all the better to set off the discomfiting intimacy of lyrics in which love is an act of self-abnegation ("[I'll] be like a shadow of a shadow of a shadow for you"). Come "Hood" – a euphoric ballad that should be every bit as ubiquitous as that Gotye song – you couldn't fail to be intoxicated.