Massachusetts natives Passion Pit have an interesting story behind their creation. Lead singer Michael Angelakos’s initial intention for the band’s debut Chunk of Change EP was as mixtape for his girlfriend. After stumbling into the hands of a few people, there was a realization that there was more than mixtape potential here. The EP was issued and their proper full length debut Manners proved to be worth the hype. At least now he can buy some nice things for her even though she didn’t receive the gift.
Manners is comprised of eleven catchy synth-pop tracks and Angelakos’s lead falsetto voice is unmistakable and one of the trademarks of this indie outfit. The album contains a ridiculous mix of catchy singles, most notably “Little Secrets” as well as the lead single and remarkably dancy “The Reeling”. Both songs contain guesting vocals from a children’s choir, in which Angelakos sings in “Reeling” “Look at me oh look at me is this the way i’ll always be?/Oh no! Oh no!/Now I pray that somebody will quickly come and kidnap me/Oh no! Oh no!/Everyday I lie awake and pray to god today’s the day/Oh no! Oh no!/Here I am oh here I am oh when will someone understand?/Oh no! Oh no!” The call and response method and use of the choir is catchy and superb to say the least.
Lyrically, Passion Pit doesn’t need much to be successful, but they insist on doing more than the minimum throughout Manners. “Moth’s Wings” may be the most promising song of Passion Pit’s short career, through the beautiful keyboard loop track and the softer vocals give this track the opportunity to shine. The buzzing ballad may get lost in between some of the peppier songs on the record, but it surely finds it’s way through the confetti and streamers. Another interesting portion of the album comes towards the end, with the transition between second single “To Kingdom Come”, which accompanies a short guitar plunk intro with a fluttery synthesizer, and definite second half highlight “Sleepyhead”, which got a serious makeover from it’s previous appearance on their Change EP.
Passion Pit’s debut contains everything a pop album should and more. With a few catchy singles and other substance within the rest of the album to keep it afloat, it stands much higher than other albums in that attempt to accomplish similar feats with a keyboard. Passion Pit’s ability to do this successfully makes them an extremely worthy candidate to make our end of the year list at number 2, and boy, do we hope they stick around.
Here’s our countdown towards WPGU’s Album of the Year:
20. Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3
19. Manchester Orchestra: Mean Everything To Nothing
18. Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg
17. The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
16. Miike Snow: Miike Snow
15. Discovery: LP
14. Silversun Pickups: Swoon
13. Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young
12. Andrew Bird: Noble Beast
11. The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
10. Japandroids: Post-Nothing
9. Arctic Monkeys: Humbug
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz!
7. St. Vincent: Actor
6. Wilco: Wilco (The Album)
5. Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca
4. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest
2. Passion Pit: Manners
#1 coming soon…stay tuned!

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