There’s a creeping sense of angst and trauma buried beneath layers upon layers of anthemic choruses, chirpy vocal harmonies, ravey synths and symphonic swells on Gossamer, a lovingly produced album that announces Passion Pit main man Michael Angelakos as a true pop heavyweight.
Just as Amy Winehouse turned her battle with alcoholism into a hooky dance floor hit on Rehab, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter uses grim subject matter – boozing, pill-popping, relationship turmoil, depression and suicide – to make music that dangles perilously on the precipice of confusion and catharsis.
Finger-snapping R&B jam Constant Conversations, effervescent Carried Away and Where We Belong – the stirring symphonic ballad that closes the record – mine a wide terrain of emotions and sounds that match the expansive range of Angelakos’s voice. Gossamer’s joyous warmth and abundant pop hooks can be enjoyed on a purely superficial level, but go deeper to discover its often bitter philosophical musings. It’s an extraordinarily consistent pop album.
Top track: Where We Belong