Passion Pit breaks ties to previous albums with “Kindred”

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Passion Pit breaks ties to previous albums with “Kindred”

Paris Shepherd

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Passion Pit’s new album “Kindred” tackles lighter topics than previous albums. Credit: Columbia Records

Passion Pit’s new 2015 album release “Kindred” proves to be less intense than previous albums. Rather than ditch their upbeat, often auto-tuned sounding vocals, lead singer, and only band member, Michael Angelakos continues this trend.

It has been known for some time that Angelakos has struggled with bipolar disorder, and this has had a major effect on his music. Interestingly, “Kindred” lacks the emotional depth that previous albums, such as “Gossamer” and “Manners,” encompass.

In an interview for NPR, Angelakos acknowledges the inconsistencies with his happy sounding tracks that have a much darker meaning.

“I think Passion Pit’s always been considered this project that is kind of melodramatic and deals with these very heavy issues with really happy music,” Angelakos said in the interview. “So there’s a juxtaposition.”

Cool synths accompanied by popish beats are used to mask the stories that really do matter. Despite what listeners are used to, “Kindred” doesn’t appear to be concealing anything in its happy sounding tracks.

Consisting of just 10 songs, this concise album tackles lighter concepts such as nostalgia, acceptance and childhood love. These songs are also less hurried and much calmer than before, but this doesn’t take away from the very essence of what made people fall in love with the band initially.

“Lifted Up (1985),” the opening track and first single of “Kindred,” doubles as a love letter to Angelakos’ wife, who was born that very year.

“1985 was a good year / the sky broke apart and you appeared,” Angelakos sings. The accompanying music video shows a boy at a family dinner who obviously wants to be somewhere else.

Later on, in the same interview, Angelakos dedicates the first song on “Kindred” to her.

“’Lifted Up’ is a song about my wife just coming to me at a point in my life where I really was pretty lost,” he said. “I was pretty dark. She’s been one of the most amazing people, as a friend, as a partner in life.”

Although the album has its trademark upbeat songs, such as “Five Foot Ten (I)” and “Whole Life Story,” “Kindred” is recognized for its raw songs that gives the album substance.

Overall, Kindred is a step in a much different direction lyrically than Passion Pit’s previous albums. None of the songs are hard to listen to, but at certain points, the album lacks the punch it needs to avoid being skipped over.


  1. “Lifted Up (1985)”
  2. “Whole Life Story”
  3. “Where the Sky Hangs”
  4. “All I Want”
  5. “Five Foot Ten (I)”
  6. “Dancing on the Grave”
  7. “Until We Can’t (Let’s Go)”
  8. “Looks Like Rain”
  9. “My Brother Taught Me How to Swim”
  10. “Ten Feet Tall (II)”

What do you think?