Alt Tuesday: Passion Pit

Electronic music can be viewed in a lot of ways. Sometimes it seems cheap and synthetic. Sometimes things like dubstep culture seem to threaten the integrity of the alternative and indie scenes, where bands are constantly struggling to make music their careers. However, once in a while, electronic music can fuse perfectly with alternative music. The result: an album that is creative, innovative, and very well thought out. Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit has done just that with his new release Gossamer.

Although known for his signature falsetto vocals, Angelakos writes and programs all of the parts for Passion Pit. He is a one-man-band of sorts and the group’s debut album, Manners, gained popularity very quickly within the alternative scene. Angelakos was faced with the large task of avoiding the “sophomore slump” with his follow up, Gossamer. And he nailed it.

From start to finish, Gossamer is pure gold. The opening track and lead single “Take A Walk” blasts the listener with catchy synths and well-orchestrated dynamics. The second track, “I’ll Be Alright,” is programming genius, strategically using vocal squeaks and heavy distorted keyboards to brighten up the somber, self loathing tone of the lyrics.

The album carries on with “Carried Away,” this album’s “Little Secrets” equivalent, and “Constant Conversations,” which is an interesting, catchy R&B (yeah… really) track.

The rest of the album is not at the same level as these first four tracks, but that does not mean the songs don’t hold their own. The rest of the songs are still catchy and fun with very real lyrical content.

The album outlines Angelakos’ struggle with bipolar disorder, which turned into drug use and strain on his engagement with his fiancée. He tells all on the closing track, “Where We Belong,” which outlines a failed suicide attempt. The lyrics on this album are all very personal and very genuine and add a lot of personality to an electronic album. Personally, I think this is going to be one of the most important, groundbreaking alternative releases of the year.

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