The Dare has a new obsession on ‘Perfume’

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After receiving a shout-out from Charli XCX on the brightest and brattiest release of the year so far, New York City’s indie sleaze poster boy The Dare is soaking it all in on his new single ‘Perfume’.

It’s been over a year since Harrison Patrick Smith first introduced us to The Dare with The Sex. The EP compiled four tracks of ecstasy-inducing, electroclashing hedonism, spilling over with bass and lyrical indecency and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered noughties. It presented an ethos he now seems set to reaffirm on his debut album, What’s Wrong With New York.

Our first glimpse at the record, ‘Perfume’, administers another dose of shameless sleaze, this time from a sleek spray bottle that reads, “le dare”. Over a pulsing beat and sparse twangs, Smith makes over-exaggerated statements about the seductive qualities of his five-dollar fragrance in his characteristically superficial style. 

“It’s $5.99,” he brags, “I spray it in my mouth and it tastes just divine.” His words are just as self-indulgent and silly as the synths that surround them, but they lean so far into their raunchy ridiculousness that they manage to resist mockery. ‘Perfume’ doesn’t pretend to be anything more than exactly what it is, and neither does The Dare.

That’s not to say that Smith hasn’t honed a distinctive persona for his musical project, one that doesn’t extend too far beyond a suit, sunglasses, and a pack of cigarettes. The monochromatic music video for ‘Perfume’ places this character in the centre of a faux perfume ad, shots of him singing in front of stacks of Marshalls interspersed with clips of shirtless models cradling his beloved perfume.

The accompanying video only enhances the sleazy scent of ‘Perfume’, the nostalgia and narcissism packed within it. It also upholds the continuous comparisons to LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy that Smith has been subjected to since he debuted. As he stalks around the white room, at times awkward and at other times impossibly assured, he asserts himself as the next indie dance icon.

If ‘Perfume’ is anything to go off, What’s Wrong With New York? is set to mark the culmination of our reinterest in electroclash, embodying the party-rock scenes of New York in the 2000s and in the present. The Dare has a new obsession, and he’s about to become yours.

What’s Wrong With New York? is set for release this September.

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