Constant Conversations – Passion Pit
Passion Pit is what pulled me into what I refer to as kaleido-pop, primarily synth-driven music that is instrumentally dense, complex, and exuberant. Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club, and Miike Snow have since taken over my car stereo but Passion Pit holds a special place in my heart. I went crazy over Manners’ bubbly, unselfconsciously boyish joy in “Sleepyhead” and “Moth’s Wings,” “Little Secrets,” and every other song in the album. I’ve always though that the origin of Passion Pit’s Chunk of Change as a valentine for singer Michael Angelakos’ girlfriend suited the band exactly. Even Manners sounded like the music of someone deliriously in love. Every song skipped, jumped, and soared hand in hand with the dizzying heights of Angelakos’ voice.
I’ve grown up, fallen in and out of love, and had my own personal successes and failings since Manners releasein 2009 and it’s comforting to see that Passion Pit has as well. In the R&B ballad “Constant Conversations” from the upcoming Gossamer pairs Passion Pit’s expansive sound with candid, painful lyrics of Angelakos personal failure and self-loathing. Angelakos pristine falsetto is just as stunning on the track as it is in Manners but it now has a tinge of weariness while the unrestrained joy of Manners is worn but still present. The lyrics “I never wanna hurt you baby / I’m just a mess with a name and the price/And now I’m drunker than before they told me drinking doesn’t make me nice ” are backed by some of Angelakos’ prettiest singing. Oscar Wilde’s quote ““We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” fits the song perfectly. Angelakos is gathering more than just a deep breath to hit those high notes. A chorus as warm as the sun counters the lyrical self-loathing and despondency. Angelakos hasn’t escaped the last years without a few scars but his frank confession and gorgeous music shows he’s proved stronger than the obstacles in his path.
Passion Pit is not creating carefree summer music. Angelakos has been hurt too often and he knows too much. Yet, he isn’t that different. “Constant Conversations” is not Manners but I never could listen to “Sleepyhead” while there was snow on the ground. Instead, Passion Pit has created music that suits all seasons, the warm promise of summer and the isolating cold of winter. Passion Pit is still creating high quality pop but pop that recognizes there is pain in love as well as there is joy.