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A Pit of unbridled Passion

Meg Lawrence talks to Passion Pit, delving into the surprisingly dark backdrop to Gossamer

Interview

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Fortnightly Freebie

Wolf + Lamb vs. PillowTalk Real Love http://tinyurl.com/realpillowtalk The Brooklyn legends come up with this glittery, trippy gem of a track.

GOSSAMER, the latest album from Massachusetts electro-popsters Passion Pit, is the perfect juxtaposition of upbeat pop and intensity. It’s immediately an album for dancing and a must for the iPod, but scratch the surface and it’s also an album that will tear your heart out. Talking to the band’s guitarist and keyboardist Ian Hultiquist, it becomes clear that Gossamer is not just the product of endless grafting and hours of studio work: for frontman, lyricist and founder, Michael Angelakos, it has been a lifeline. It is clear that the past few years haven’t been easy for Michael, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 18, and has had spells in hospital ever since. Ian tells me: “The whole record is about the struggles and experiences that he (Michael) has gone through for the past three years.” The last track on the album, ‘Where We Belong’, delineates Michael’s attempted suicide. He sings: “It’s gotten cold in here, but asylum warmth draws near.” While some may consider the prospect of working with such a troubled soul an unattractive proposition, Ian believes

it’s Michael’s experiences that make the chael’s voice matched to theirs. Ian finds album so powerful. “I know that he has the misunderstanding of Michael’s sex altogether amusing. “I’ve always a very poetic sense to him and the found the whole androgyny lyrics are so beautiful on their Check kinda interesting. A lot own but I also like that he’s Exeposé Online thing of people in the world still not really hiding anything for more think that he’s a girl singer. any more,” he explains. interviews, “With Manners the songs audio, video It’s one of those goofy litare pretty dark but you and exclusive tle things that might attract people to the band.” wouldn’t really see it at content Whilst Gossamer has been first whereas with the songs a difficult album for Passion Pit to on Gossamer you hear the lyrics and immediately know what’s happen- produce, don’t underestimate the posiing.’ It’s true, Passion Pit’s first album tives it has brought. The album debuted Manners (2009) is far more lyrically re- at number four on the Billboard 200, and served than Gossamer. This time around, sold 37,000 copies in the week following Michael really is baring his soul in his its release in July. Since then the band music, and that makes the album all the played at Reading and Leeds festivals and are due to kick off their first UK tour more entrancing. in two years this November. Ian says: “He’s not really hiding “I’m really excited to see how the crowd react to the new songs.” anything anymore” Passion Pit thrive off audience reBut the progression between albums actions at gigs. I ask Ian what it’s like isn’t simply a lyrical one. The band de- to witness the positive reaction of the cided to involve Swedish girl group Er- crowd. “It’s great. It’s kind of a strange ato on Gossamer, as they were keen on thing because you don’t always realise enhancing the androgynous sound of Mi- that you’re responsible for the smile on

that person’s face but you have to take a step back from that and realise that it’s a pretty special feeling that not everyone gets to experience.” And with British crowds? “They’re usually a bit tough at first”, he admits, “but [they] usually soften up by the end of the show. Every night’s like a different challenge to win them over. If you are able to win them over you feel like you must’ve done something great.”

“A lot of people still think Michael’s a girl singer” There’s no doubt that Passion Pit continue to do something great - and Gossamer is the proof. Future ambitions, according to Ian, are to continue to do more of the same. “All I can really ask for is that we keep having fun together.” He says of Michael, “he had a really tough year putting this together and it was rough but I do think that, I know that, he really felt he had achieved something once he had finished the album and I think he did too.” The feeling’s mutual.

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2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

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