Hyped newcomers' lo-fi beginnings...

Like more bands before them than you might think, Passion Pit began as a solo project before chief architect Michael Angelakos recruited a clutch of musicians to transform his dreamy sketches into brilliant panoramas.

‘Chunk Of Change’, though, remains primarily Angelakos’ baby, originally penned and pieced together as something of a Valentine’s gift for his girlfriend; as such, it possesses a lo-fi feel that’s not wholly in keeping with the band’s live performances, more Casiotone For The Painfully Alone meets The Postal Service than a full-band sound.

The heartfelt four-track EP of old is here extended to six songs, and both ‘Better Things’ and ‘Sleepyhead’ do feel like tacked-on extras rather than flow-aiding additions. The former is Late Of The Pier wackiness-prog meets Scissor Sisters glamour (and, truth be told, ot half as evil as that sounds), while ‘Sleepyhead’ rides in on a vocal sample before splintering like some indie-schooled appropriation of cut-and-paste hip-hop – think Flying Lotus meets The Avalanches in MGMT’s hollowed out skulls.

The trebly click-beats that provide much of this EP’s percussive elements do expose its low-budget beginnings, but the imagination and craft exhibited by Angelakos is clear to hear – it’s no surprise that the stateside Frenchkiss label (Les Savy Fav, The Hold Steady) took an early interest, before Columbia flashed the cash. Also, the band's lynchpin has a fine way with the English language, his lyricism expressive while never tangling itself in ill-advised metaphors. That said, his vocals will leave some screwing their faces up in WTF disgust - some highs are missed by quite a margin.

While ‘Chunk Of Change’ holds little in the way of longevity in its appeal arsenal, it does suggest that better things are coming our way. A full album is likely to be an immersive, of Montreal-level delight.

Passion Pit - 'Sleepyhead'


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