Artist: Passion Pit
Sometimes, pop music can be so subversive, couching darkness in what sounds so happy. Jump back two summers to Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” which is about school shootings – “You better run, better run faster than my bullet.”
Passion Pit’s “Gossamer” sounds like a happy pop record, but deals in its share of darkness: Alcoholism, financial hardships, suicide, mental illness, drugs and more.
The subject matter comes from the mind of Michael Angelakos, who has wrestled with some demons in his day. “Where We Belong” talks about attempting suicide, while “I’ll Be Alright” and “Constant Conversations” cover periods in which his mania and drug abuse threatened to overtake him.
Yet for all its lyrical weight, “Gossamer” arrives as a shiny pop pleasure, so easy to misinterpret, just as people somehow made “Pumped Up Kicks” a feel-good hit of the summer.
Musically, “Gossamer” shows Passion Pit expanding its repertoire and learning nuances in its pop, showing that “Manners” was an opening volley, not the entire story.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.