Perfume Genius & Empress Of – “When I’m With Him”

Last year, Lorely Rodriguez, the synthpop auteur who records as Empress Of, released a gorgeous and personal album called Us. One of that album’s highlights was “When I’m With Him,” a shimmering bilingual track about that moment where you realize that you’re in a shitty relationship and you’ve lost all sense of self. And today, Rodriguez has teamed up with Perfume Genius for a whole different version of “When I’m With Him.”

Perfume Genius sings lead on this new “When I’m With Him,” and it’s officially billed as the Perfume Genius cover of the song. But Mike Hadreas, the man who records as Perfume Genius, isn’t simply taking Rodriguez’s song and making it his own. Instead, both artists worked with each other and with Jim-E Stack, who co-produced the original track with Rodriguez, to reimagine the song completely.

Where the original was a midtempo synthpop jam, this one is more of a slow-blooming ballad, one that gives plenty of room to Hadreas’ stunning voice. Rodriguez sings the backing vocals, and the whole thing becomes even grander and more tender than it was in the first place. It’s a case of two artists fusing their aesthetics and coming up with something greater than the sum of its parts. Below, listen to the track and check out Empress Of’s tour dates.

2/18 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
2/19 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
2/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
2/22-23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
2/24 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
2/25 – Montreal, QC @ Bar le Ritz PDB
2/27 – Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall
2/28 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
3/01 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
3/02 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
3/05 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
3/06 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
3/08 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Ballroom
3/09 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
3/10 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
3/19 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega Small Hall
3/20 – Berlin, Germany @ Berghain / Kantine -
3/21 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
3/22 – Cologne, Germany @ Artheater
3/23 – Paris, France @ Le Babadoum
3/24 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique / Rotonde
3/26 – London, UK @ Scala
3/27 – Manchester, UK @ YES
3/28 – Dublin, Ireland @ Whelans

Us is out now on Terrible Records.