Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Passion Pit

Chunk of Change

(Frenchkiss; US: 16 Sep 2008; UK: Available as import)

For a six-song EP, Chunk of Change takes up an awful lot of space. The debut release from Boston’s Passion Pit is a warm and inviting collection of electro-pop that calls to mind popular acts like Postal Service while still blazing its own path. At their best, which they frequently are on this short record, the band pull their songs out, letting cascading sounds stretch out and sustain over simple beats. The vocals start whispery and unassuming, acting as a nice complement to the songs’ subtle melodies. But then, as it happens nearly three minutes into “I’ve Got Your Number”, the band breaks into a plaintiff chorus. The vocals turn into pleading shrieks and the track reveals itself to be not a relaxed groove but a slow insistent burn. “Cuddle Fuddle” gives the percussion a little more presence, but organs still faintly hum over the track, so that the song never feels cut off. The melodies in the songs are compact and poppy, but they come together to make something murky and open-ended. “Smile Upon Me”, in contrast, is a little more insistent, full of cut-up synths and high-pitch harmonics that feel more crunched up than anything else on Chunk of Change. But it’s a slight misstep on a debut that is confidently unassuming, full of energy and melodies so embedded they sneak up on you, but so infectious you’ll find them hard to forget.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


Tagged as: passion pit
Related Articles
28 May 2013
Washington, DC’s Sweetlife Festival does things a bit differently. And that is a very good thing.
29 Nov 2012
On negotiations between the pop/rock singer, a media-savvy audience, corporations, and meaning itself. Entranced by media, we turn everything into media; beholden to commerce, we turn life into a commodity.
By PopMatters Staff
1 Aug 2012
Passion Pit have a long slate of tour dates ahead of them through the summer and fall and they'll be playing Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago. In the meantime the band just released their new video, "Constant Conversations", a tune full of slow, steamy grooves.
24 Jul 2012
The Boston buzz band's second full-length of shout-along electropop is as scrappy, outsized, and infectious as anyone could hope for, and as shrill and cloying as anyone could expect.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.