If you wrap your ears around the lyrics of the tracks off Gossamer, indie pop darlings Passion Pit’s latest feed, you will hear – above the bubbling synths, sizzling drumbeats and frontman Angelakos’ signature chirpy falsetto, the overall infectious and psychedelic tunes of each track – his internal struggle and coming to terms with self and the ever overwhelming big deal also known as life.
Gossamer headed for juxtaposition of upbeats and harsh reality with the opener Take A Walk. It talks about the irony of the American Dream through the sunny melody of the song. This juxtaposition continues through the entire album and following is I’ll Be Alright. Again, this track confronts the vulnerable side of Angelakos as he cries, “You should go if you want to”. It makes you think if you should blow away with the neon-bright tune or be cemented with his pain as well.
This repetitive veiling of pain under happy-sounding synths and energy shouldn’t come as a surprise as Angelakos was coping with depression, substance abuse, suicide and his mistrust towards love. He battles with the idea of love in Love Is Greed. In this track he attempts to understand love (or lack thereof) with “If we really love ourselves / How could we love somebody else?” Self-battle and internal struggle through and through.
Angelakos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 18 and attempted suicide a year later, “Creativity essentially leads to suicide – where you think to cut yourself up, sit in the bathtub, and take more medication than you should.” This is indicated in the closing track of Gossamer, Where We Belong, which chronicles his suicide attempt. But thankfully he was saved eventually – “And then I’m lifted up / Out of the crimson tub / The bath begins to drain / And from the floor he prays away all my pain”.
Gossamer delves into painful issues and is a collection of Angelakos' overwhelming anxiety and suppressed anger, in which he sings, “My brain is racing and I’ll feel like I’ll explode”. The recent scrap of a leg of tour does not make this band or their sophomore album less brilliant. In fact, Angelakos is deserving of all the rests and breaks for undressing himself to the bones in Gossamer, so brutally honest. The most wrenching songs have the sweetest disguise and that, is Gossamer. You have to listen past the glossy tunes and irresistible beats to see the raw and wounded Angelakos. He has mastered the art of antidotal deception.