It’s not often an album cover captures the sound of a record exactly, but that’s just what the pink hued embrace of Passion Pit’s second album does. Gossamer sounds, well, pink. It sounds like an explosion in a sherbet factory and is easily the most effervescent album of the year so far. Listen closely however, and you’ll notice the darkness behind this sugary facade. Gossamer’s candy floss synths coat lyrics about economic strife, alcoholism and self-loathing. It’s all too easy to get caught in the rush but listen closely and the party nosedives. It’s a disarming effect.
Though most of the album is effortlessly propulsive, tracks like I’ll Be Alright and Mirrored Sea sound frenetic to the point of desperation. It’s as if Passion Pit want to keep moving for fear that their demons will catch up with them if they stop for even a moment. Front man Michael Angelakos famously recorded his first Passion Pit EP as a valentine’s gift for his girlfriend but here he sounds like he’s recorded a feature-length apology.
After the initial head rush of lead single Take A Walk and the three songs that follow has worn off, the album’s sense of fragility begins to seep in. This inner torment is flagged up on slower tracks like electro R&B curio Constant Conversations but it’s on the surging, gorgeous Hideaway that it is finally pushed to the fore. While Angelakos declares “Someday everything will be ok”, his wounded delivery reveals it to be an empty promise. Penultimate track It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy delivers the knock-out emotional blow, its refrain of “It’s not fair, still I’m the only one who seems to care” providing a devastating punch to the gut.
And therein lays Gossamer’s only real problem. Assuming you don’t tire of its initially boundless energy, it quickly becomes a bit of a downer. You’ll dance your cares away while the music blares but when it’s all over you’ll be left with one hell of a hangover.