Passion Pit : Gossamer
When Beat last spoke to Passion Pit's frontman Michael Angelakos, his insight into the turbulent period that made up the album's writing period was painfully honest. "Most of these songs are about people, told by a person: me, who is seriously delusional," he said, of the album. "I became obsessed with ensemble casts, theatre-to-film adaptations, and developing several characters' life stories in an hour and 45 minutes in one single room. I had gotten tangled up in many issues, many of them involving my fiancée, that I wanted to visualise in some way."
Dig a little deeper beneath the glossy, multicoloured veneer of Gossamer's uptempo, sugar-sweet pop, the album's material proves a razor-sharp and raw insight into the period of time that followed in the wake of Passion Pit’s well-received debut release Manners.
Gossamer is all nerve-wracked manic highs and crashing lows, an overwhelming listen. Opening with soaring synths and a pulsing kick drum, Gossamer's first track Take A Walk makes it explicit that there is more substance to Passion Pit's work than their effortless, breezy take on electro-pop – "I watch my little children, play some board game in the kitchen/And I sit and pray they never feel my strife," Angelakos sings in falsetto, touching on the heartache of family life and financial woes. The rest of the album follows in similar manner – with its reference points everything from James Blake's vocal experiments to Rustie's hypercolour palette of synths providing a stark juxtaposition to the raw and still-painful sting of Angelakos’ raw lyrics, all focused inwards on his struggles with bipolar. The album’s production explores a wide terrain of pop-tinged territory – from slow-jam R&B on Constant Conversations, a testament to a lover watching on as its singer categorises his personal failings to the uplifting, anthemic pace of Mirrored Sea on which Angelakos sings "good men are scarce and few/But always passing through". Gossamer is an exercise in exorcising ghosts, of which there are many – but it’s urgency and fever-pitch pace is the album’s strength.
BY MIKI McLAY
Best Track: Constant Conversations
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: GROUPLOVE, THE TEMPER TRAP, PURITY RING
In A Word: Urgent