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Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos: 'I Was Really Pretty Lost'

Passion Pit.
Hassan Rahim
Courtesy of the artist
Passion Pit.

Passion Pit is a band made up of one man: 27-year-old Michael Angelakos. When he signed with Columbia Records in 2009, Angelakos went from playing house parties in Boston to touring the world. Passion Pit's third album, Kindred, is out Tuesday, and there's more behind its sound than upbeat music.

"I think Passion Pit's always been considered this project that is kind of melodramatic and deals with these very heavy issues with really happy music," Angelakos says. "So there's a juxtaposition."

Angelakos has bipolar disorder — it's a condition he used to hide. But three years ago, after the release of his second album, his mental illness became hard to control. So he decided to stop hiding it.

"I just didn't believe in lying about cancellations," he says. "And I remember having to cancel a number of shows because I was hospitalized for I think about the fourth time. And I was like, 'This is what I deal with, and you can't lie.'"

Today, Angelakos says he's better — and that his wife is a big part of the reason why. He dedicated the first song on Kindredto her.

"'Lifted Up' is a song about my wife just coming to me at a point in my life where I really was pretty lost," he says. "I was pretty dark. She's been one of the most amazing people, as a friend, as a partner in life."

Angelakos met his wife in school, and after a few years worked up the courage to talk to her. "We just kind of hit it off, and she's always been very, very understanding of everything that I go through," he says.

He says many of Passion Pit's songs about his relationship have been skewed by difficult points in his mental health.

"But instead of just apologizing, I wanted to express some type of gratitude," Angelakos says. "Because that was really what I was also feeling, and I never really showed that side. I'm at a point where I'm still alive, so I've gone through quite a bit.

"I'm so lucky and I'm healthy, so I can actually talk about more relatable, even more mundane subjects," he says. "That is such a fantastic luxury for me at this point."

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