Friday, June 19, 2009

Album of the Week: Manners

“Sleepyhead,” Passion Pit’s breakout hit from last year, had one-hit wonder written all over it. A bedroom project, put together (along with a few other tracks, which then comprised the Chunk of Change EP) as a Valentine’s Day gift to lead singer Michael Angelakos’s girlfriend, its quirky and razor-sharp brilliance seemed impossible to top, destined for a future Best of the 2000s mix CD. (It reminded me of a Best of the 1990s song, “Your Woman,” a genius single from never-heard-from-again solo project White Town.) But Angelakos, and his quickly assembled band, haven’t tried to top “Sleepyhead” on the ridiculously solid debut Manners. Instead, they’ve traded quirkiness for a more danceable heft, as on subsequent single “The Reeling” (as can be heard on JeffMix2009.04.30) and the uplifting “Little Secrets” — stepping outside the bedroom studio and directing their Howard Jones-sounding pop at the masses. Sure, the early-1980s production can sound a bit too much like it’s taken from the Ghostbusters soundtrack, but Passion Pit are clearly meant to stay. One of the best of the year. A

Passion Pit: Moth’s Wings (courtesy RCRD LBL)
from Manners

And for more new sounds, make sure to subscribe to my latest podcast, JeffMix2009.05.30 (also on iTunes), featuring music from Basement Jaxx, Metric, Magistrates, Paul Dempsey, and MSTRKRFT, among others.

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