After taking an almost two year break after their debut LP, Manners, Passion Pit are back with their second full length, titled Gossamer. This Cambridge, Mass. based band first hit airwaves with their debut EP, Chunk of Change, featuring the enormously popular “Sleepy Head.” The following year the synth pop quartet released their first full length, Manners, which peaked at 51 in the US chart.

On May 7, their two-year silence came to a close with the release of the first single from Gossamer, “Take A Walk.” The song is a bit darker than their previous efforts, focusing on more personal and serious lyrics. The song still remains true to their upbeat and energetic synth-centered sound, but an exciting and compelling dichotomy now exists between the lyrics and melodies. The long-awaited Gossamer was released in full on July 24.

Singer and songwriter Michael Angelakos checked in with XRT Chicago‘s Marty Lennartz backstage to talk about the darker side of Passion Pit, the progression of their music, and the important role that the audience plays in his songwriting.

In light of the lyrical changes in tone of the new album, Angelakos feels like the transition in songwriting was natural.

“I think it was the logical next step from where Manners was,” Angelakos says. “After so many different styles and permutations, we landed on that and that felt right. In terms of electronics, I know I didn’t want to stray from that, from Passion Pit. I felt like there was still more life in that sound.”

It seems like that was probably a good move, considering that, since it’s debut two weeks ago, Gossamer has been the number one record in Chicago. Angelakos believes that the new record is more demonstrative of who they are as band.

“We know now who does what and how things work themselves out—we didn’t at first,” Angelakos says. “We’ve been around longer now—we know how to tour, how to prep songs for shows, how to arrange things.”

Passion Pit had scheduled several shows leading up to the release of Gossamer, but was forced to cancel several dates, citing that frontman Michael Angelakos wanted to take some time to improve his mental state. And it sounds like the short break before their Lollapalooza appearance was really beneficial, especially in light of the darker material on Gossamer.

“[The shows] are an extraordinarily therapeutic way of going about these sort of things,” Angelakos says. “I decided to be much more direct in the way that I would go about it with this record.”

Gossamer is available now via Columbia Records.

– Eric Staszczak, WXRT Chicago