Passion Pit’s second album Gossamer is nearly a year old now, but what a year it’s been. The band suspended its 2012 tour dates, but after re-scheduling them for 2013, the venues and enthusiasm for the new songs have only grown. It makes sense as to why, too: the material on Gossamer is catchy and challenging at the same time, and effectively establishes the band as a premiere act in the current pop landscape. In the latest edition of The Hivecast, Matt Pinfield sits down with the band’s singer/keyboardist, Michael Angelakos, to discuss that album, his inspiration – and how he got the idea to include the kids of New York’s PS22 in a star-making turn on the band’s 2009 debut.
"I said that I wanted a kid's choir, and then [producer] Chris Zane was wracking his brain, because we didn't want something where it was like a Sigur Rós kid's choir, where it was very straightlaced," Angelakos says. "But we didn't know how to describe that to anyone without sounding like assholes -- nor did we know how to look for that. But then, all the sudden, someone showed us a YouTube clip of those kids singing pop music in an after-school program. We were like, 'Oh my god, we need to see if we can work this out. And for some reason, it worked out, and they got a half-day off of school. They came -- we bought them tons of pizza -- and I ended up singing with them, because my voice is so high, and I was trying to explain parts to them, and I ended up just being like, 'All right, fuck it, I'm just gonna actually sing with all of you.' I found footage of me actually in the choir singing with a bunch of really, really young [kids]. That's when it really dawned on me how high my voice can go. It's more comfortable for me to sing with that kind of choir! But I don't know how we landed that.”
Angelakos explains that the students have experienced something of a Passion Pit bounce, too. “Now they're doing everything,” he laughs. “They sang at the White House, with Beyoncé – since Passion Pit, they have exploded.”
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