«Passion Pit» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

Passion Pit is an American indietronica band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, formed in 2007. The band consists of Michael Angelakos (lead vocals, keyboards), Ian Hultquist (keyboards, guitar), Xander Singh (synthesizer, samples), Jeff Apruzzese (bass, synth bass). All of the band members attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, with the exception of Angelakos, who attended Emerson College.



The band culled their name from the Variety Slanguage Dictionary, a glossary of Variety's frequently-used slang, which was provided by the Hollywood Insider publication to help not-so-savvy readers decipher its content. The magazine used the term to refer to drive-in theatres, because of their privacy and romantic allure for teenagers.


The first Passion Pit songs, which would later become the Chunk of Change EP, were written by Angelakos at Emerson College as a belated Valentine's Day gift to his then-girlfriend. At first, he wrote and performed all his material alone using a laptop. After one of his solo shows in the Boston area, Ian Hultquist, who was attending Berklee at the time, approached Angelakos and expressed interest in creating and playing music collaboratively. They formed a group that consisted of Angelakos, Hultquist, Ayad Al Adhamy, Thom Plasse (bass), and Adam Lavinsky (drums). The band spent a considerable amount of time trying to flesh out a collaborative format and structure that would work best for them. Jeff Apruzzese and Nate Donmoyer joined the band shortly after they signed to Frenchkiss in 2008, replacing Plasse and Lavinsky, respectively. In 2012, Adhamy was replaced by Xander Singh.

2007–09: Chunk of Change

The band's debut EP, Chunk of Change, was released on September 16, 2008. The first four tracks were those that Angelakos had written as a gift for his girlfriend, which had already become popular throughout the Emerson College campus, where Angelakos was attending classes at the time, and had been passing out his own, self-produced copies. Two tracks, "Sleepyhead" and "Better Things", were added for the commercial release of the EP. The same year of their debut EP's release, the band was chosen as "Best New Local Act in 2008" in the WFNX/Boston Phoenix best music poll.

The first and only single to be released from the EP, "Sleepyhead", received a good deal of exposure through its use in numerous media campaigns and advertisements, while the video for the song, directed by The Wilderness, was included on Pitchfork's Top 40 Music Videos of 2008 list. The song contains samples of "Óró Mo Bháidín" by Irish singer and harpist Mary O'Hara.

Other songs from the EP received some exposure as well. "Cuddle Fuddle" was featured in E4's second series of The Inbetweeners and "I've Got Your Number" was used in an advertisement for the cash card from O2, Money in the UK.

2009–11: Manners

The band's first full-length studio album, Manners, was released on May 18, 2009 in the UK and May 19, 2009 in the United States and Canada. In celebration, the band played their record release party on the 18th in New York City on a Rocks Off boat cruise. In a preview article, ClashMusic.com commented that the album "has every chance to rank as one of the year's best" and that "it reveals additional nuances with each visit: a sure-fire sign of an album with true longevity".

In order to obtain a specific background vocal accompaniment the band was looking for on Manners, Passion Pit enlisted the help of the PS22 chorus, who recorded vocals in-studio for three of the album's songs: "The Reeling", "Little Secrets", and "Let Your Love Grow Tall." "The Reeling" was the first single to be released from the album and found success on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in the fall of 2009, where it peaked at number 34 in October and "Little Secrets" was the third single to be released and had success on the chart as well, topping out at number 39. "Let Your Love Grow Tall" was never released as a single but had some exposure being used in the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of the TV series Ugly Betty.

The album's second single, "To Kingdom Come", was used in the Rhapsody commercial for its iPhone application.

"Sleepyhead" was the only track from Chunk of Change to be included on the album and was made available from iTunes for free as a discovery download in 2009. The song continued to receive additional exposure through its appearances in advertisements. It was used in a season 3 episode of the teen-drama, Skins and most recently in the debut trailer for LittleBigPlanet 2, which led to the band's increased popularity amongst fans and players of the game, who eventually created an in-game instrumental version of the song to listen to in the first game. When the sequel was released, it came with the song's actual instrumental version used in the trailer.

The song "Moth's Wings" was used in the fourth episode of the third season of the CW teen drama Gossip Girl and in the closing credits of episode 36 of HBO's Big Love. It appeared in the FIFA 10 video game and was featured in the film Life As We Know It, starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Additionally, the track has been used as a background theme for Sky Sports' coverage of the UEFA Champions League and as the music for a dance routine in Episode 5, Season 8, of the US television show So You Think You Can Dance (United States), which received a standing ovation from the show's judges.It was also featured in MTV's show Awkward.

In June 2009, the band performed at the Glastonbury Festival 2009 in Pilton, Somerset, England, where they dedicated the final song of their set to festival headliner Jarvis Cocker, who was to perform on the same stage later that same day. Afterwards, NME, while favorably reviewing Passion Pit's performance, incorrectly reported the band as having dedicated their entire set to Cocker.

On April 13, 2010, the band reissued Manners in a deluxe edition format which contained new artwork and three additional tracks: stripped-down versions of "Sleepyhead" and "Moth's Wings" and a cover of The Cranberries' song "Dreams". The deluxe release coincided with the extension of their North American headlining tour.

The band released another cover in June 2010, this time offering up their take on The Smashing Pumpkins hit song "Tonight, Tonight" as part of a promotion with Levi's called "Pioneer Sessions".

In September 2010, Passion Pit toured with the English band Muse as their opening act for eight shows during their fall tour through parts of the U.S. Following those supporting shows, the band headlined the Campus Consciousness Tour, produced by Pretty Polly Productions in collaboration with Guster guitarist Adam Gardner's non-profit organization Reverb. The two-week tour featured stops at twelve college campuses and, in addition to the music, focused on promoting eco-friendly lifestyles. Opening acts for the tour included Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and K. Flay.

2011–present: Gossamer

In an August 2010 interview with NME, Angelakos stated that work had already begun on the follow-up to Manners and that the band intended to release the album in the spring of 2011. He then said that it will be released early in 2012,[citation needed] and finally that the release date was July 24.

Days after they have been presented in the Lollapalooza festival in Brazil in March 2012, they announced the title of the album, Gossamer, and that it would be released on July 24, 2012.

On May 7, 2012, the first track from Gossamer was released, called "Take a Walk".

On June 12, the second track from Gossamer was released, called "I'll Be Alright". The track leaked early on June 11 and was released as an NME premiere on June 8.

On July 9, a third track from Gossamer, called "Constant Conversations", was reviewed and featured as "best new track" by Pitchfork. It was released with the review as streamed content. Gossamer was officially released on July 20, 2012.

On July 16, Angelakos posted on the Passion Pit website that the band has cancelled the remaining July tour dates and suspended the tour in order for Angelakos to seek ongoing treatment for Bipolar Disorder. A Rolling Stones interview stated that Angelakos was diagnosed at 17, undergoing therapy, hospital care, and medication ever since.

On October 13, they performed on Saturday Night Live. They played "Take a Walk" and "Carried Away."

On September 24, 2013, Passion Pit released the Constant Conversations (EP), originally released through , but was then made available on iTunes. The EP featured an alternative version of Constant Conversations from their 2012 album Gossamer, in addition to a formerly unreleased b-side called Ruin Your Day. The final track on the EP was a remix of Carried Away by Dillon Francis.

On 15 July 2013, it was announced publicly that the band would be headlining the first ever "Coastline Festival" in Tampa, Florida and West Palm Beach, Florida with Two Door Cinema Club and Matt & Kim. Also included in the lineup are groups such as Fitz and The Tantrums, The Joy Formidable, The Neighbourhood, Capital Cities, The Mowgli's, Blondfire, Surfer Blood, The Royal Concept and St. Lucia.

Awards and accolades

In the 2012 listeners of Australia's alternative radio station Triple J Hottest 100, voted "Take A Walk" into number 46 of the hottest 100 tracks for the year. Also, in 2012 their album "Gossamer" was number one on the Top Digital Album Billboard.



Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Alt.
US Rock
  • Released: May 19, 2009
  • Label: Frenchkiss, Columbia
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
51 19 98 123 87 55
  • Released: July 20, 2012
  • Label: Frenchkiss, Columbia
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
4 2 2 12 149 17 31 56
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title EP details Peak chart positions
US Heat.
Chunk of Change
  • Released: September 16, 2008
  • Label: Frenchkiss, Columbia
  • Formats: CD, LP
35 58
Constant Conversations EP
  • Released: September 24, 2013
  • Label: Frenchkiss, Columbia
  • Formats: digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Adult
US Alt.
US Rock
"Sleepyhead" 2008 71 Manners
"The Reeling" 2009 34 19 99
"To Kingdom Come"
"Little Secrets" 39 48
"Take a Walk" 2012 84 25 24 5 9 77 97 36 Gossamer
"I'll Be Alright"
"Constant Conversations" 138
"Carried Away" 2013 34 19 24
"Cry Like a Ghost"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Original artist Song
2009 Gotye "Learnalilgivinanlovin"
Marina and the Diamonds "I Am Not a Robot"
Phoenix "1901"
"Love Like a Sunset"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll"
2010 ARMS "Heat & Hot Water"
Dan Black "Symphonies"
Chairlift "Bruises"
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé "Telephone"
OK Go "This Too Shall Pass"
Paper Route "Tiger Teeth"
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg "California Gurls"
Ra Ra Riot "Ghost Under Rocks"
Shout Out Louds "Fall Hard"
Tegan and Sara "Alligator"
The Ting Tings "Hands"
Tokyo Police Club "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)"
Max Tundra "Which Song"
Two Door Cinema Club "Undercover Martyn"
The Smashing Pumpkins "Tonight, Tonight"
2011 Beastie Boys "Make Some Noise"
Bruno Mars "Grenade"
Cold War Kids "Mine Is Yours"
2012 Imagine Dragons "It's Time"
Crystal Fighters "At Home"
2013 Portugal. The Man ""


Year Song Album
2012 "Where I Come From" The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 soundtrack
2013 "Almost There" "Frankenweenie Unleashed!"



External links

  • at Artistdirect