A few years ago, Passion Pit was the city’s hottest pop export, selling 280,000 copies of their 2009 major-label debut, Manners, and licensing their songs to the likes of Gossip Girl and So You Think You Can Dance. The band’s mix of “jubilant, euphoric music laid out with pretty downtrodden, depressing lyrics” — as leader Michael Angelakos describes it — proved an irresistible formula for late-aughts hipsters and TV producers. Then came the usual post-success paralysis.
Thus, it has taken Pit three years to pull together a full-length follow-up album. Angelakos, 25, blames the delay on touring exhaustion; a protracted creative process that required distilling hundreds of musical ideas into just a few songs; and his own move to Brooklyn to be with his fiancée, Kristy. In fact, he says, the difficulty of reconciling his hectic schedule with his domestic life is the foundation of the group’s new album, Gossamer, to be released next month. “I’ve never been this honest before, lyrically and vocally,” he says.
Angelakos’s anguish may have been the inspiration for Passion Pit’s newest tunes, but he clearly misses his happy Boston days. (When he asked about Cambridge’s Hi-Rise Bakery as though it were an old friend, I assured him the place is still there.) The group plays the Bank of America Pavilion on June 22, with plans for a bigger and bolder production than ever before, featuring the familiar quintet plus a cadre of singers and musicians to produce their signature sound. “We’re looking forward to coming home to Boston to present this whole new show,” Angelakos says. “We can’t think of a better place to do it.”