Passion Pit’s Gossamer examines dark, haunting subject matters through infectious synthesizer-infused pop, resulting in an enigmatic yet enjoyable album. The deeply personal lyrics of singer-songwriter/producer Michael Angelakos intrigue the psyche and delve into the abyss of depression, heartbreak, and loneliness while electronic melodies soar playfully overtop. Rather than clashing, these two moods combine to create music that pleases both body and soul.
Gossamer functions in a versatile way — you can dance shamelessly to it or reflect on the meanings and explore the depth of the music. Take standout track “I’ll Be Alright,” for example. Lyrics like “I’m so self loathing that it’s hard for me to see / Reality from what I dream / And no one believes me” hardly seem like they could be coupled with swirling synthesizers and busy drums to form a catchy electro-pop tune, but the two are effortlessly melded in this song.
“Cry Like A Ghost” airs more of Angelakos‘ personal angst with a tale of a deeply flawed relationship. The track culminates in a gentle bridge in which he sings, “She says I screamed and that I raised my hand / But I never meant to, wasn’t even there.” The entire time, rhythmic drum machines and floating bells mask the darker tones of the song, thus helping to solidify the album’s enigmatic nature. This also occurs in first single “Take A Walk,” which discusses such topics as the futility of a wealth-driven society wrapped in musical stylings that will inspire lighthearted strolling, and “Love Is Greed,” whose name gives away its subject matter.
Overall, the mashup of dark and light aspects of Gossamer makes it well worth the listen. The level of emotion derived from the songs can be as deep as an examination of the undertones of depression or as light as humming along to the twinkling electronic notes and swaying to the lulling layers of brilliant synthesizers.