15 May 2013

15th May - Passion Pit's Manners

Artist – Album: Passion Pit - Manners
Released:  15th May 2009
Sounds Like: We’re feeling higher and higher and higher, higher and higher and higher

Indie kids really have cheered up haven’t they? Back in the day (a.k.a. when I were a lad, a.k.a. in the good old days...), the title was synonymous with pasty white young adults, with torn jeans and greasy hair who obsessed over that obscure band they’d seen down the pub, and listened to music that people who didn’t get it labelled as depressing. The Smiths, the bands of the grunge era, and Radiohead all upheld a long tradition of iconic masters of indie melancholia. Somehow though, things have changed since the turn of the millennium. The hair is now gelled and immaculate. The kids look healthier and less like agoraphobics. The (skinny) jeans are still torn, but they are ripped on purpose.  And the music... well, the music now is positively happy. Think of Hot Chip or The Vaccines – two very different but equally exultant indie bands. Two of my favourites from the last five years or so have been Phoenix (apologies for not selecting It’s Never Been Like That for today) and Jens Lekman, both of whom continually alter between contented and euphoric. What happened indie? You used to be uncool.

For pure unbridled joy, there’s never been a better album than Passion Pit’s Manners. They have catchy, poppy melodies, pounding drums, highpitched vocals, funky synthesizers, and backing vocals from a chorus of children. Each song sounds like the group had a few too many blue Smarties. One of the album’s many highlights - ‘Little Secrets’ – contains the lyrics “Let this be our little secret, No one needs to know were feeling, Higher and higher and higher”, a sentiment you’d feel more confident they could conceal if it didn’t feel like they were shouting it from the rooftops. Even a song with the soporific title of ‘Sleepyhead’ is actually a hypnotic, indie-dance anthem, featuring otherworldly samples and electronic wig outs.

As can be expected from such a delirious record, it’s difficult to maintain the mood for the entire duration, and although it’s a cracking effort, it’s not quite perfect. But it’s still great. I’m a keen adherent of both the sombre ye olde indie and the dancier stuff of today, and I’m glad that the scene has existed long enough to produce an album as fun and exhilarating as this.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Make Light – 4:56
2.       Little Secrets – 3:59
3.       Moth’s Wings – 4:16
4.       The Reeling – 4:48
5.       Eyes as Candles – 4:03
6.       Swimming in the Flood – 4:59
7.       Folds in Your Hands – 3:39
8.       To Kingdom Come – 4:07
9.       Sleepyhead – 2:55
10.   Let Your Love Grow Tall – 3:32
11.   Seaweed Song – 4:25

Listen to ‘The Reeling’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U-Ul5qnLeQ

Also released on the 15th May:
2006: Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That
Also released on the 15th May:
2007: They Might Be Giants – The Else

Also released on the 15th May:
2012: Beach House - Bloom

No comments:

Post a Comment