x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Passion Pit's Gossamer is an infectious romp

Listen closely to the falsettos vocals, however, and it's clearly a record charting one man's breakdown.

Passion Pit
Gossamer
Columbia
****

Given the frontman Michael Angelakos's somewhat troubled year, many might have expected the long-awaited follow up to US electro-poppers Passion Pit's 2009 breakthrough Manners to be of the somewhat gloomy variety.

But the album bursts open with the infectious stomp of first single Take a Walk and - despite lyrics that hint heavily towards Angelakos's recent concerns - rarely moves into gloomy territories, with pumping synths, heavy drums, warped samples and up-tempo chart-dance melodies that wouldn't feel amiss in a Katy Perry song (but in a good way).

Listen closely to the falsettos vocals, however, and it's clearly a record charting one man's breakdown. For all its slick, bass-heavy pop-ish diversions, Cry Like a Ghost explains how the singer and his girl are "heart-broken and numb", while the standout R&B-led Constant Conversations sees a friend pour away a drink because "drinking doesn't make me nice".

Sad singer/songwriter he may be, but Angelakos's ability to create glistening and toe-tappingly joyous pop from despair is remarkable. While the tone may seem out of kilter with the lyrics, Gossamer is an album that rarely puts a foot wrong.