Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos released his third studio album yesterday and it stays very true to his signature indie-pop sound. It’s called Kindred and it immediately catches your ear with the happy guitar chords, clear voice, and swinging beats of “Lifted Up (1985).” That song is dedicated to his wife, and in the track he celebrates how much she means to him. However, as Angelakos mentions in an interview with NPR, these happy songs can be his way of confronting deeper issues. Angelakos has bipolar disorder, a severe mental illness that causes uncontrollable emotional highs and lows, both of which can be debilitating. He mentions that his wife came to him at a time in his life where he was “pretty lost,” and largely credits the fact that he “feels better” to her efforts.
Angelakos sees Passion Pit as an upbeat way to examine dark subjects, and this is evidenced by songs like his hit “Take A Walk,” which depicts a family going broke in an impossibly optimistic way. In an interview with Pitchfork, he emphasizes that in this album “Everything is autobiographical,” and we can see that in the way he addresses many of the people that are closest to him in his life. A prime example of this is the track “My Brother Taught Me How To Swim,” in which he describes his brother’s role in his life and how he wishes he could love the way his brother does.
The album is a journey filled with twisting synths and high-pitched vocals. My two favorite tracks were “Lifted Up (1985)” and “My Brother Taught Me How To Swim,” but I recommend you check the whole album out on Spotify. Check out his tour schedule, too, he might be stopping by your city this summer.