Gossamer is spider silk; delicate and easily broken. It sets the tone for Passion Pit’s newest release, obviously aptly named, Gossamer.
I haven’t been quick off the mark with this album review admittedly, but Passion Pit is fast-becoming a favoured choice on my set-menu of electric dream-beats. Almost three years since the release of studio album Manners comes Gossamer, the second studio album and third release of Massachusetts’ dream team Passion Pit: the class act that formed by accident. A truly romantic accident it would seem: lead singer Michael Angelakos made what later became EP Chunk of Change as a belated Valentine’s Day gift for his then-girlfriend.
After 2009/10’s record Manners, the bar was set high. Angelakos, plagued by mental illness and more recently, lengthy stays in hospital, worked hard to convince everybody he was fine. And at times it seemed indeed convincing. Almost.
Gossamer opens with Take A Walk, a thumping anthem telling of the fiscal conflict and conservative politics of modern-day America; an opening topic to steer the subject away from his struggles. “Nice try”, we say; following the opening track is personal admission I’ll Be Alright. With confessions like “I drink a gin and take a couple of more pills” and “Well I’ve made many messes”, it’s hard to believe. Regardless, its euphoric beats reminiscent of Manners somehow steer the conversation away from the inevitable again.
The goalposts were in sight after Love is Greed, an elated and heart-breakingly honest examination of t he perils of love. However, the next track title, It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy, illustrates a picture rather less despondent that the lyrics suggest. And the mood only shifts further south with Where We Belong, a somewhat somber ending to an album with its account of a suicide attempt by a 19-year-old Angelakos.
There is a certain level of unease throughout Gossamer; and it is glaringly obvious that despite several half-hearted attempts (puzzling subject changes) to convince us otherwise, Angelakos struggles are on display here. Pensive beats, glimmers of past tracks and downright gloom have resulted in an almost unenthusiastic effort to match the other two records. Two records that I have come to love, in fact.
But not all is lost: it has been said that the greatest tracks have been unearthed from the darkest places. It is just this record was somewhat premature in Angelakos’s recovery. I repeat: Gossamer is spider silk; delicate and easily broken.