Monday, May 18

Passion Pit- 'Manners'

. Monday, May 18


When, in 2008, college kids in Boston, Massachusetts got hold of the tape Michael Angelakos had made his girlfriend they began ripping and burning it until it was the sort of campus hit Asher Roth and Vampire Weekend dream of. As a concept originally dreamed up as an elaborate Valentine’s gift it must be baffling to Passion Pit’s Michael Agelakos that he is now the proud creator of a fully formed band, even more so a band who surf the wave of hype to dizzying heights. This spirit of DIY romanticism continues through to Passion Pit’s debut album ‘Manners’ a giddy Summer soundtrack destined to be an album of the year contender.

Much like the aforementioned ‘Chunk Of Change EP’ much of ‘Manners’ channels an overwhelming sense of euphoria, the kind of feeling indescribable and other worldly, through their music. To do this they use a killer combination of heady synth electronics and stratospherically high falsetto vocals. By the second track of the album you will know if it’s for you or not- ‘Manners’ certainly requires a sweet tooth. If, however, you’re in for the long haul then the album delivers hit after hit. Passion Pit are one of those bands who sound like so many other people but never fall directly between the cross-hairs of plagiarism to be derided. Hot Chip, Go Team! MGMT, Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev all loom over ‘Manners’ like the sun illuminating a child’s playground. The album begins with three tracks of such staggeringly high quality you have to remind yourself that there is still a single (‘The Reeling’) and the sublimely re-mastered EP track ‘Sleepyhead’ to come. Most striking is ‘Little Secrets’, a wall of wobbly and pulsating sound most symptomatic of Passion Pit’s sound, the sugar rush is made all the sweeter by the children’s choir forming and accentuating the songs bridge. The bands Flaming Lips tendencies are most obvious on the charming ‘Moth’s Wings’ which is essentially using Oklahoman’s ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’ as a backdrop.

There is a definite lull in the middle of the album where repetition seeps in and perseverance is needed to combat the occasionally grating vocals however as soon as the angelic intro of ‘Sleepyhead’ kicks in all is forgotten as the thrilling injection of joy is sent coursing through the veins once more. The most enticing thing about ‘Manners’ is how you can find a new favourite track with each listen, as said they do sound very similar to each other but even as the LP comes to a close the anthems keep arriving and ‘Let Your Love Grow Tall’ and ‘Seaweed Song’ both provide an exemplary final farewell.

Can our nation of rain-soaked complainers take a band so unashamedly happy to their hearts? You’d be fools not to.


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