And now let's listen to a one-man band.


INSKEEP: The band is Passion Pit. If you see them in performance, you will see five musicians. But on albums like their latest release, nearly everything you hear is the work of one man, Michael Angelakos. He does have some back-up, like on the drums. But Angelakos writes the songs, writes the lyrics, plays the keyboards and guitar. Works endlessly to tweak the synthesizers for a song opening like this one.

MICHAEL ANGELAKOS: That beginning was about, you know, eight or nine hours of programming and just getting the idea for it. And then the whole song kind of just fell into place.

INSKEEP: He also sings and harmonizes with himself. And Angelakos' voice, as much as anything, distinguishes this music, floating comfortably among the high notes.


ANGELAKOS: (Singing) Can you remember ever having any fun? 'Cause when it's all said and done, I always believed we were. But now I'm not so sure. Oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh. I drink a gin and take a couple of my pills and my parade will give you chills. The one...

INSKEEP: It's fitting that Angelakos creates almost alone. His first album started as songs he recorded as a Valentine's Day gift to a girlfriend. The music soon attracted a much wider following. Now the second album, called "Gossamer," mixes happy-sounding music with dark lyrics, many of them dwelling on Angelakos' own tendency to self-medicate.


ANGELAKOS: (Singing) I never want to hurt you, baby. I'm just a mess with a name and price. And now I'm drunker than before they told me drinking doesn't make me nice...

There are so many bands that talk about alcohol, and it's not that interesting to me. The alcohol was just another character, but it was a minor character.

INSKEEP: The major character is Angelakos himself and the people in his life who were affected by his behavior.

ANGELAKOS: When you become cognizant of the fact that you are hurting people and you are out of control and you feel like, you know, there's no solution, all you want is for them to leave because you just - you don't want to hurt anyone.

INSKEEP: And so he sings about pushing people away.


ANGELAKOS: (Singing) Sylvia, right back where you came from you're a pendulum, heartbroken and numb. But Sylvia, no one's going to tell you when enough's enough. Enough is enough...

INSKEEP: Angelakos now says he's now completely sober, though after he spoke with us, he made an announcement that cannot be easy for a young band publicizing a new album. He has cancelled six performances this month to, as he put it, improve his mental health.


INSKEEP: Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit. The band's new album, "Gossamer," is out today and you can hear it now at


ANGELAKOS: (Singing) I get carried away, carried away from you when I'm open and afraid, 'cause I'm sorry. Sorry about that. Sorry about things that I've said, or is that against my will(ph)? I get carried away, carried away from you when I'm open and afraid, 'cause I'm sorry. Sorry about that. Sorry about things that I've said, or is that against my will? Wake up in the morning. I wake up in the evening...


Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from