There’s only one-way to describe Passion Pit’s year: bipolar. They started the 2012 on a real high, “Take A Walk” became an indie anthem as “I’ll Be Alright” stunned critics with its maximalist exuberance and lyrical juxtaposition. Then Gossamer arrived. The second album drew universal plaudits and Passion Pit were a genuine success story, effortlessly dismissing the difficult second album. Unfortunately for lead singer Michael Angelakos it was anything but smooth sailing. He promptly cancelled the bands US tour in an effort to improve his “mental health”. It came as no surprise to anyone who listened to the brilliant “I’ll Be Alright”, Angelakos was clearly battling with depression, in a very dark place (“I’m So Self-Loathing, That It’s Hard For Me To See Reality From What I’ve Dreamed, And No One Believes Me”).
Passion Pit’s arrival in front of a seething NME Tent crowd is therefore a triumph in its own right. Still if despair has dogged the band for the last two years, there’s not a drop of sorrow in their blitzkrieg assault of a set. Lights flash, and colour exudes as songs of social decay and emotional torment are turned into huge unifying anthems. “Carried Away” and “Take A Walk” are positively euphoric as the crowd heartily bounce and Angelakos wears an almost believable smile. The response is clearly overwhelming for the band who simply can’t misstep. Even the subdued take on new wave r’n’b “Constant Conversation” is greeted like an old friend (the roar along chorus certainly doesn’t hurt). The set concludes on a celebratory note as the crowd inexplicably mosh to “Little Secrets”, and it seems as long as Angelakos can stay on an even keel this band will only soar higher, and higher, and higher, and higher. David Hayter