Written By: Justin Rands
Sometimes people want to express their love for another without just using some cheesy card written by someone else, or flowers, or a nice dinner. They want to go above and beyond. Michael Angelakos and the EP he created was just supposed to be an experiment. Just supposed to be a little belated Valentines gift CD, with a few songs confessing some love and appreciation towards a significant other. You know; no big deal, just a little romance recorded onto a laptop, alone. Michael couldn’t have been more wrong about the reactions he would get when he finally gave this to her and started handing out burned cd’s to other people at Emerson College in Boston, MA.
Flash-forward through the rest of the year, insert some blog buzz, replace the instruments and add some actual members, and stop at the start of 2008. The EP (“Chunk of Change”) had become a bit of an underground hit so Michael and his band, Passion Pit (Ian Hultquist (keyboards/guitar), Ayad Al Adhamy (synth/samples), Jeff Apruzzese (bass) and Nate Donmoyer (drums), start touring around Boston’s local restaurants and small venues to gain even more recognition.
After playing the EP for more than a year and adding a couple more songs underneath their belt, the band was finally signed to Frenchkiss Records, and released this little gem of an album entitled “Manners” on their label, on May 18th and 19th of this year which has garnished much praise.
The album, “Manners”, is 11 songs engulfed in a haze of electronic romance that sprawls through an experimentation of sound filled with infectious hooks and beats, cow bells, and space like synthesizers. Add a dash of Michael’s high, harmonious voice overlaying and you have what some would say could be one of the top albums of this year.
Feeling like I’ve been sitting in a club atmosphere while listening to the album I can’t help hear Michael’s voice yelling to the girl who this whole thing was for. Especially on hits like ‘Seaweed Song’ where he yells:
“Nobody knows you the way you know you
But I think I do
But I thought I knew
Yeah, I thought I knew.”
Like any relationship there is a struggle to keep up the same persona that you had with the person when you met them, which really is, well, quite impossible. We are doomed to constantly changing. But even though this may be true, it does help create such lyrics like the one’s above.
And then there are songs like “Little Secrets” where Michael explains:
“Let this be our little secret
no one needs to know were feeling”,
when he’s talking about their love, which ends with a chorus of small children yelling “Higher and higher and higher”. He uses the innocence of children’s voices in a few of his songs, which really helps build the chorus up with even more emotion.
Featured all over the blogosphere, this band has been called the next big thing and I don’t doubt seeing them gaining more and more recognition for their work as time goes on. I can’t help but hope that at least one of the members gets tangled in some sort of relationship so us listeners can listen to the repercussions on another album.