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Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Observer

Passion Pit out with new tracks and tour

EMILY DANAHER | The Observer
EMILY DANAHER | The Observer

Starting organically as a way to produce songs for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, Michael Angelakos’ Passion Pit has effortlessly evolved into the meticulously produced indie pop group we have today.

A euphoric smorgasbord of synth beats and falsetto melodies coupled with Angelakos’ provoking lyrics has lifted Passion Pit over the years into a throne of critical and public acclaim. Both thematically and musically complex, Passion Pit’s 2012 sophomore album "Gossamer" marked a clear transition from a playful indie group to full fledge pop quartet. Yet with the announcement of the forthcoming follow-up album, "Kindred," and the release of two new singles, it is yet to be seen if Passion Pit will continue to impress and evolve or simply regress.

Due to drop April 21st via Columbia, "Kindred" will be comprised of ten songs, two of which — “Lifted up (1985)” and “Where the Sky Hangs” — have already been released.

The announcement of "Kindred" comes after Angelakos’ release of an interesting collection of songs via SoundCloud, produced under the pseudo name Eastern Shift. Whether or not the Eastern Shift collection will make an appearance on "Kindred" is still up in the air, though doubtful.

While both recently released singles share a common ethereal and airy nature — likely a theme throughout "Kindred" — they also emphasize Passion Pit’s range. “Lifted up (1985)” is a fun, spirited song accented with an infectious chorus. “Where the Sky Hangs” shows how Passion Pit will not focus on creating a commercial pop album. The track is a simple, relaxed single with swinging melodies and graceful verses.

Though this claim may sound straight out of the 1920s, I can only describe the two new singles' accompanying music videos as living pictures. Both videos for “Where the Sky Hangs” and “Lifted up (1985)” are surreal images of children peacefully staring out in the distance. There's no speech and little movement, not even a sneeze, just the occasional blink as airy synth pop dances in the air. While this all sounds a bit creepy, it’s more like a dream that pairs nicely with the music, an almost effervescent experience.

Passion Pit has also recently released tour dates to accompany the upcoming album. The 23-stop tour will make frequent stops throughout much of the U.S. and Canada and also include London, Paris and Tokyo. Passion Pit will be joined with fellow indie poppers Coin and Holychild and will make appear in several notable festivals including Buku, Big Guava and Neon Desert. The tour will begin mid-March in New Orleans and progress through mid-August.

Although Passion Pit’s production level has changed tremendously over the years, Angelakos has remained steadfast with his impressive array of thought-provoking, emotional lyrics. This makes sense, as Angelakos has stated that his music is therapy in helping his struggle with bipolar disorder. In a recent PSA video about bipolar disorder, Angelakos opened up about his experience.

“Once I started really just accepting my mental condition, it stung for a little bit and then everything improved,” he said in the video.

The PSA is part of a campaign in partnership with organizations “Bring Change 2 Mind” and “Project 375,” which focus on lessening the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder.

With a fifth of the album already a thumbs up, I am hopeful "Kindred" will continue Passion Pit's growth and evolution. You can pre-order the album on iTunes now, which includes both “Lifted Up (1985)” and “Where the Sky Hangs."