A few years ago in Massachusetts, a guy named Michael Angelekos recorded a few songs on his laptop to impress his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. Little did he know then that his musical ideas would evolve into a five-piece electropop outfit called Passion Pit, or that they’d be play the Glastonbury Festival, or tour with Muse, or that their songs would get placed on the CW’s Gossip Girl and the film Life As We Know It, or that they’d have a record deal with Columbia Records, or that DJs would be remixing and paying tribute to their work.
Life’s funny that way sometimes.
However they got where they are today, Passion Pit is gaining a lot of traction these days in the indie pop community, as they are set to release their second full-length album Gossamer later this month. The band draws heavily on electronic elements (remember, the origin of the band is a guy and a laptop), yet they manage to blend their heavy synths with a distinct indie-rock vibe. The end result is a great-sounding band that (thanks to Angelekos’ mild-mannered falsettos) occasionally sounds a bit like Death Cab for Cutie set to synthpop.
To those for whom the band’s name sounds familiar (but perhaps shouldn’t), let’s dispel the theory that Passion Pit is named after the 80’s porn flick; the bandmates claim they were unaware of said flick at the time they came up with the name. Their version of the origin of the name is that “passion pit” was at one time a slang term referencing drive-in theaters for being popular make-out spots.
Interestingly, Passion Pit is also probably one of the youngest acts to have inspired a tribute album; LA-based DJ Bahler released Mashin’ Pit in 2010, a set of mixes drawn from Passion Pit songs and samples. Given their penchant for the electronic, it’s not surprising that Passion Pit has paid a bit of tribute on their own, having covered songs by Katy Perry, Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys and numerous others.
I’ve embedded a video below of “Take a Walk,” a single from Passion Pit’s upcoming album Gossamer. Let me know what you think!