The follow-up to 2009's "Manners," Passion Pit's second full-length release presents a more refined and developed sound. The album is a glimpse into Michael Angelakos' mind as he deals with the overwhelming nature of both his internal struggles and the world around him.
Record label, release date and producers: "Gossamer" was released on Columbia/Frenchkiss Records, on July 20, 2012. It was produced by Passion Pit founder, Angelakos and Chris Zane.
Hometown: Cambridge, Mass.
Key tracks: "Carried Away" and "I'll Be Alright." "Carried Away" is an uplifting, energetic song that focuses lyrically on renewal and independence. Musically, it is incredibly bright and has the listener wanting to move. "I'll Be Alright" is one of the album's standout tracks. It features a wide array of orchestral elements including violin, viola, cello, flute, and piano. As these instruments are delicately arranged and layered with synthesizers, keyboards and samplers, this track shows how Passion Pit has developed in its style, while still maintaining its distinct sound.
Key lyric: "I'm so self-loathing that it's hard for me to see / reality from what I dream / now no one believes me / no not a single thing / my brain is racing and I feel like I'll explode." These lyrics, from the track "I'll Be Alright," reveal how Angelakos attempts to deal with personal issues. However, the articulation of his inner struggles draws the listener into his world. The music directly reflects the lyrics of the track, seamlessly fusing electronic glitches with samples and orchestral elements. Through such moments the listener feels fully immersed in the delicate balancing act that is the mind of Michael Angelakos.
About essay writer the producer: Chris Zane worked on the Walkmen's 2010 release "Lisbon," 2009's "Little Lion Man EP" by Mumford and Sons and Tokyo Police Club's release from 2008, "Elephant Shell."
Band members: Passion Pit is composed of Michael Angelakos, Ian Hultquist, Xander Singh, Jeff Apruzzese and Nathan Donmoyer. In addition to these core members, the album features various other musicians, ranging from backup vocalists to a flautist.
RIYL: Tory y Moi, Oberhofer, the Knife.
Play it here: "Gossamer" sounds best in the morning, Wednesday thru Friday -- a perfect way to make it through the week and ease into the weekend.
Started as a band in: Angelakos began his musical career in 2007 writing songs for a former love interest and was later joined by others as they wanted to expand upon Angelakos' creativity.
What the critics say: "But 'Gossamer' is also more elegant than its predecessor. Toning down 'Manners'' strained falsetto, Angelakos sings with clarity and confidence, exploring his warmer lower range on the electro-psych rush of closer 'Where We Belong' and nailing every high note on the excellent, R. Kelly-esque slow jam 'Constant Conversations.'" -- Ryan Reed, The A.V. Club
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