The long-awaited is here. Passion Pit has dropped their sophomore endeavor, Gossamer, and they’ve hit the ground running. The buzz surrounding this record has been encouraging to the band. Everyone seems to be on-board and patiently waiting for what’s in store. Needless to say, this record has a little bit of everything in it. It takes from older Passion Pit and brings some sound stuff to the table. It has surpassed many listeners expectations, ours included.
Working chronologically down the record, we can see that they started off strong by putting the three previously-released singles amidst the first four tracks. “Constant Conversations” has an RnB feel to it that is enticing. Moving down to “Mirrored Sea” and “Cry Like A Ghost” we get a sense for how the band has matured musically. The latter track has a deep, reverberating bass that proves steady throughout which allows lead singer Michael Angelakos to experiment more vocally. His range is more all-over-the-place on this track.
He sings a lot about of the troubles he’s had to deal with for the past several years. He has been diagnosed as being bipolar and has had mental breakdowns. The on-tour lifestyle hasn’t helped either, and the nights of heavy drinking just add to the problems. “Cry Like A Ghost” is a song about those bad influences and friendships he’s had that haven’t help him at all and how he’s trying to overcome them. “On My Way” is a track for his fianceé, Kristy Mucci, who has saved his life on many occasions, both literally and figuratively. He thankfully shouts: “Just believe in me, Kristina. All these demons, I can beat them.” We move on to “Hideaway,” one of the better tracks musically. It is kind of cheesy lyrically. There isn’t a lot of depth in it, but it better appreciated for it glitchy, arpeggiated synths.
“Two Veils to Hide My Face” is a track 3/4 of the way through Gossamer that is an “unpolished gem.” It is a 34-second interlude that features a mysterious female vocalist. There is so much potential there for such a great track if they would have developed it. It is unsure as to the identity of the girl who sings alongside Angelakos, but she is a perfect vocal compliment to him. If they would have expanded it then it would safely be a full-blown powerhouse of a song. It’s just entrancing and the acapella singing works very well for them.
Angelakos has had a heart-breakingly difficult time coping with his mental instability. It has affected his personal life, his interaction with the band and others, and especially the recording of Gossamer. He doubts his ability to love in, “Love is Greed” with the line: “if we really love ourselves, how could we love somebody else?” Pitchfork had a cover story written about all the drama surrounding the recording process where Angelakos went on record of saying: “I thrive under a chaotic environment, but I also create it. It’s a sadomasochistic thing. Dissatisfaction and creation are inextricably linked, so you cannot be satisfied.” However, he was not done yet.
He reassures us earlier in the album that “I’ll Be Alright,” even though the record ends on a dark note. “Where We Belong” discusses his suicide attempts. It begins with: “it’s gotten cold in here, but a solemn warmth draws near,” but later he sings: “…and then I’m lifted up out of the crimson tub. The bath begins to drain, and from the floor he prays away all my pain.” He is calm and collected throughout this track. He talks about his belief in death and its immanency. It ends triumphantly with: “all I’ve ever wanted was to be able to make you proud.” He says that we’ve all found a place where we belong. He is very real and vulnerable with the everyone on this record. It is more mature than the pseudo-narcissistic Manners. There has been a lot growth musically. It is an easy and enjoyable listen, but the underlying themes are not so easy to bear with. That’s life though. They all fought through the seemingly impossible to produce a record that is well-rounded and developed in a way that makes it one of the best we’ll see this year.