One of my favourite things to do is generate entirely new genres by blending pre-existing ones into uber-pretentious hipster varieties. I then use this new tag to describe a tiny range of bands. Thus, I bless Passion Pit with the indie-electro-falsetto-dance-pop (nu-wave) label. There, doesn’t that sound much better than “MGMT meets the Scissor Sisters”? No? Well, either way, now you don’t need to decipher this pretentious genre pigeonhole.
Passion Pit are making waves. This five-man band is at the receiving end of some serious groundbreaker-standard attention from radio stations the world over. I don’t know why – their sound isn’t exactly new or different and it certainly isn’t groundbreaking. Not only have MGMT and the Scissor Sisters already been through it, but there’s a fair bit of an 80s influence accounting for the ‘electro’ bit. All three bands fit the indie-electro-falsetto-dance-pop (nu-wave) label just as snugly.
This is not to say that they are terrible and completely undeserving of any attention whatsoever, let’s not misconstrue. The album is full of hooks and an assortment of vocal styles, though none could be called ‘normal’ – the falsetto reigns supreme, there are kiddie choruses on Little Secrets, and the heavily exploited Sleepyhead has some exotically distorted chipmunk hooks.
Like the music, the lyrics are flighty, whimsical and fantastical: ‘you come beating like moth’s wings – spastic and violently’ and ‘now I dream that somebody will swiftly come and kidnap me – oh no!’ The songs on Manners are almost childish in their sweetness, though more experimental and danceable than those by the bands mentioned previously. There aren’t many surprises, so a listen to two or three songs is enough to permit you to make a reasonably informed decision as to whether or not you want the album to grace your CD rack (or music library, as the case may be). To make it even simpler, know that chances are if you liked Oracular Spectacular you are likely to be turned on by Manners.