Stool Pigeon February '09
Anyone who paid attention to the tastemaker lists for 2009 will know
the name Passion Pit. In a year mostly devoid of dead-cert success
predictions, one band bucked the trend on both sides of the
Atlantic, largely due to their appearances at the last CMJ festival
in New York, where their capacity for appearing everywhere at every
moment of the day, and congregating the British music industry
in one place without the promise of free alcohol, was unmatched.
Today, while still enjoying the aftershock of that week, singer and
songwriter Michael Angelakos is largely philosophical about it.
Picking up a call from the studio where they are recording their
debut, he’s more interested in making an awesome record than keeping
up with what’s new in buzz bands. However, he is aware of his own
band’s status, and the expectation that comes with it.
“I listen to a lot of groups and there’s a scepticism involved,” he
says, tired from a late night’s recording, “I totally agree with the
people who would say ‘oh it’s just another new band’, cause it takes
a long time for a band to prove themselves. I know we’re really new,
and that’s ok.”
Angelakos sounds more like a slightly disorganised professor than the
next torchbearer of the East Coast sound, and indeed, the rise of
Passion Pit has a similarly disorganised edge. The EP that caused all
the fuss was recorded on whim, as a gift to a girlfriend, and since
then the band have been in constant activity. They don’t have time to
think about most of the mantles being put on them, and the constant
comparisons to last years big indie breakthrough, MGMT, have him
“It’s really funny,” he says, “We wear the same clothes every day,
you know, shitty sweaters, and we’re tired. We’re not aware of up and
coming things, but if people want to compare us to MGMT, then wow.”
For his part, however, he won’t be pandering to public opinion.
“We’re not the kind of band that says ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix
it’,” he says, “None of the songs on the EP will be on the record,
and we’re using a different and larger production. It’s a departure,
and we’re excited to be putting it out.” As if to illustrate the
point, he mentions that the day is set aside for horn arrangements.
It looks like those tastemakers may be able to predict success, but
they can’t predict what it will sound like.
“The whole dance mish mash thing is kind of dead,” says Angelakos.
Long live Passion Pit.