When a band reappears with new music after a decent chunk of time, fans are generally always a little frightened and the same question always arises, will they still be the same? Ask yourself this question, though — are you the same person you were three years ago? 2015 is the year for valiant returns from some of our favorite artists, Passion Pit included. We last heard from them in 2012 with their album Gossamer, and now they’re back with an even more personal ambience.
We’re used to Michael Angelakos’ distinct falsettos singing about running away and adventuring, but Kindred opens up a new door into the deeper, inner workings of his mind. He isn’t just talented at using electro pop and synth to create something that’s never been heard before, he’s also a lyrical genius. Kindred compares and contrasts light, dreamlike sounds with heavier lyrics like: “My brother taught me how to swim/We treaded water underneath the ocean’s skin/And then he washed away my sins.” His ability to incorporate imagery in comparison to the highs and lows of life gives a sense of hope for others overcoming past struggles and demons. That doesn’t necessarily mean Angelakos has abandoned his old style. “Whole Life Story” is a perfect example of mixing the old with the new, where he describes a lovely state of mind with the upbeat energy we’re quite familiar with.
For the most part, Kindred creates a feeling of nostalgia with elements that tie into Angelakos’ childhood, showing how his family and wife became inspirations and muses for this album. It recalls his ongoing struggles with bipolar disorder and how even the brightest days can seem dark and dreary. Kindred mimics a broad spectrum of emotions, from euphoric happiness to despair, that we all end up feeling at one point in our lives.