Michael Angelakos, the mastermind behind dream-pop powerhouse Passion Pit
, is no stranger to doing things a little unconventionally. He's an artist who takes complete control over his own story, never afraid to be honest about his mental illness, substance abuse, and sexuality. Angelakos has served as an inspiration for many throughout Passion Pit's nearly decade long career, and hopes to continue to spread the love with the band's fourth LP, Tremendous Sea of Love
Earlier this year, the record was made available to anyone who retweeted the #weneedscience
campaign. A cause near to Angelakos' heart, all proceeds from the album's official release will be donated to the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research in Cambridge, Mass. To celebrate Tremendous Sea of Love
coming to streaming services on July 28, take a look back at some of Passion Pit's most effervescent tracks.
13. Tonight, Tonight
Recorded for a distressingly good Levi's series a few years back, this Smashing Pumpkins cover is simply stunning. Angelakos' high-pitched wail turns the ‘95 classic into a colorful dream. The melancholy melodrama of this haunting Pumpkins track blends perfectly with Passion Pit's otherworldly sound.
12. Make Light
From their debut record Manners
, this energetic indie-pop gem sets the stage for the band's now well-known contrast between upbeat melodies and reflective lyrics. "Make Light" is definitely a crowd pleaser - how can you resist that floor shaking drum beat and high-powered hook?
11. Tremendous Sea of Love
The title track of Passion Pit's new self-released LP is four minutes of soothing ambient beauty. Distant vocals and flowing waves echo gently through the simple melody. It kind of sounds like the music you hear at a spa, but in the best way possible - "Tremendous Sea of Love" is sonic therapy for your soul.
10. Where We Belong
This song is the perfect conclusion to Passion Pit's gorgeous second record, Gossamer.
"Where We Belong" glitters like the reflection of a sunset on the ocean. Angelakos' songwriting is so personal and immensely powerful. Every song, but especially this 2012 track, makes you feel at home.
9. Constant Conversations
standout, this is the song that made me really pay attention to Passion Pit. "Constant Conversations" moves the band in a different direction, away from the hyper energy they're so known for. When everyone was busy dancing to "Take a Walk," this song was lurking in the corner, distant but magical.
8. I'm Perfect
Something about Angelakos' vocal cadence on this song reminds me of Ezra Koenig circa Modern Vampires of the City
. During the verses, Angelakos stays in a lower register of his voice, a surprising but welcome change. "I'm Perfect" is essential Passion Pit - confessional, but highly danceable.
7. Moth's Wings
This song was probably used during some ABC Family tv series at some point, but it's still one of the band's greatest tracks of all time. The Manners
single is an early favorite and features a fit of Angelakos' lyrical genius. "Moth's Wings" leaves us all spinning dizzily from this shimmering dream.
6. Where the Sky Hangs
Passion Pit's third album Kindred
wasn't nearly as hyped as it should have been. Released in 2015, the record might have been overshadowed by the complex developments in Angelakos' personal life. "Where the Sky Hangs" is easily the best song on the album, a groove-based dreamscape that'll be stuck in your head for hours.
5. It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy
You can never give Gossamer
too much love. "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy" is a beautiful release of complicated feelings. Even though Angelakos' own personal struggles might not be widely relatable, he still has a way of making us experience every possible emotion in just a few short minutes.
4. The Undertow
One of the best songs Tremendous Sea of Love
has to offer, "The Undertow" feels like an updated version of the Passion Pit we knew a few years ago. Mellow and melodically complex, the song builds layers of shimmery synths over painfully honest lyrics.
3. I'll Be Alright
A frantic fever dream, "I'll Be Alright" actually describes a time when Angelakos was very much not alright. Pills, gin, and self-loathing color the verses of these explosive four minutes. Passion Pit expertly masks their lowest moments with hazy hooks that make you feel restless and energized at the same time.
2. Hey K
In a stunning love letter to ex-wife Kristy Mucci, this exquisite Tremendous Sea of Love
track swims through regret and relief. This feels like a potentially drastic change to the Passion Pit vision. It's a more ambient ballad than most of the band's glistening pop hits, but still gives us an up-close look into Angelakos' soul.
1. The Reeling
I'm not a fan of the phrase "oldie but goodie," but this song is exactly that. It could be argued that this song trumps it's Manners
counterpart, "Sleepyhead," and I definitely support that argument. "The Reeling" exhibits everything Passion Pit does best - dreamy synths and endless percussion swirling around Angelakos' pained vocals.