'Gossamer' is a hormonal wave of electro and indie euphoria that boasts having rediscovered the true meaning of synthpop music. Evoking MGMT and the Klaxons' mastery of ravey psychedelic rock, Passion Pit takes the next step in raising 'pop' music from the stigma-ridden caricature it has become, creating a dreamy and fantastical future pop soundscape. The five-piece from Massachusetts have propelled themselves forward, producing a slightly darker sequel to their debut album 'Manners.' It could not be timelier that the UK release of this emotive sunlit 12 track album fell in profound synchronicity with our summer heat wave; catchy, upbeat and displaying a relentless number of euphoric melodies, 'Gossamer' is a hard contender for album of the summer 2012.
Soothing glockenspiel chimes punch into a glorious and uplifting electronic trumpet riff, bounced along by a strong drumbeat that sets the effervescing energy levels sky high. In true indie-pop style the opening song's formula takes the familiar verse-chorus-verse route and lead singer Michael Angelakos' purposefully minimal vocal lull poetically tells stories of love, rebellion and freedom. He sings with endearing innocence and hypnotic clarity. The music video for this track mirrors the melody's sense of escape; it was shot in Philadelphia from the perspective of a bouncing ball travelling around the region, soaring with no ties and no restraints.
Cleverly, the tune ends abruptly, almost merging directly into track two; the accelerating momentum has no time to relapse before a rainbow of helium fuelled electronic synthetica and scattered drums dart onto the scene, caressed by the elongated and austere vocal lines of second track 'I'll be alright.' Infectiously energetic, you can't help but wonder how Angelakos has time to breathe between his chants of hope that will certainly leave a smile on your face.
At risk of sounding unvaried, the album spurs forth on the same level of sugar-high and the intensity of the elation makes you question whether the next thing round the corner will be a unicorn or fluffy bunny. That said, the energy is an echo of Angelikos' own excitement. The lead singer and keyboardist boasted in 2010 that Gossamer was set to be "a really fantastic, exciting, beautiful, gorgeous record. An absolutely beautiful record. I'm so excited." The kaleidoscopic layering of synths, samples and basslines is orchestral and a tribute to the band members' capacity to multi-task. The album is catchy and filmic. It journeys into cyberspace, through idyllic blossom-dotted English fields, back to a spangled 60s disco dancefloor and to the heart of a New York gospel church in the soulful track 'Constant Conversations.'
What is admirable is that, perhaps unpredictably, the album becomes an emotional journey too, mellowing from cartoonish jubilation into a provocative Sigur Rós meets Radiohead degree of despondency in the closing two tracks. Angelikos questions bitterly: "Who says that God exists?" and stunning vocals plead "Gabriel!" Slower and weaker than previous tracks, and accompanied by twinkling violins and apocalyptic drums, this concluding song tugs at heartstrings in a magical way given the buoyancy of previous tracks. This contrast gives the album depth and dimension, but importantly does not take away from the fact it is perfect summer holiday music. For easy listening and charming orchestration we recommend you add 'Gossamer' to your travel playlist this summer.
Average price: £10.00