Passion Pit – Manners
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Record Label: Frenchkiss
When the nights start getting shorter and the sun starts shining brighter, I always get the itch for tunes that will match the weather. I like something that I can rock out to during the day, as well as something calming during late nights. Basically, something I can spin at anytime. So you could imagine how giddy I was after I heard Passion Pit’s debut album, Manners, for the first time. Manners features some of the best synth-pop songs you’ll hear all year. Scratch that, it features some of the best songs you’ll hear in 2009.
Manners is a keyboard bonanza. Ian Hultquist plays the keys, as does vocalist Michael Angelakos, while Ayad Al Adhamy adds in the synth and samples. And they all make their presence known on opener “Make Light.” Add in Angelakos falsetto and the enthusiastic rhythm from drummer Nate Donmoyer and bassist Jeff Apruzzese, and you have a sunny track. Feel-good track of the year, “Little Secrets,” is like a flashback to the 80s, with a little disco thrown in. The synth is thick, and the keys lightly needle in and out. The track is so upbeat, even people with the darkest of souls will tap their toes.
You will feel like you’re moving in slow motion with “Moth’s Wings.” The band slows down the tempo to perfect effect here. First single, “The Reeling,” is incredibly vibrant. The keys are jazzy, and the beat is like a pulse, constantly pumping new life into your headphones. “Swimming in the Flood” is a beautiful track that will sprawl completely over your membrane, while “Folds In Your Hands” is an adventurous and choppy dance tune.
“Sleepyhead,” arguably the band’s most popular song, appears as track nine, and it dazzles. It screeches and soars, while at the same time it’s dizzying and vicious. “Seaweed Song” is for dreamers, floating effortlessly from the speakers to your ears. This is a record that loves you back.
There are some imperfections on Manners, including Angelakos’ vocals, which may be a little too much for some listeners, but there are so many different nuances you will discover with repeat listens, giving Manners incredible lasting power. Jump on the bandwagon now, because Passion Pit is one of the best breakthrough artists of 2009. Manners is the jam of the summer. And in such bleak times, it’s always nice to turn to something that will immediately pick you up.