Passion Pit

Passion Pit
Passion Pit

Passion Pit in December 2008
Background information
Origin Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Electropop, indie pop, synthpop[1]
Years active 2007–present
Labels Frenchkiss, Columbia
Associated acts Aislyn, Shuttle
Michael Angelakos
Ian Hultquist
Ayad Al Adhamy
Jeff Apruzzese
Nate Donmoyer
Past members
Thom Plasse
Adam Lavinsky

Passion Pit is an American electropop band from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The group, which formed in 2007,[2] consists of Michael Angelakos (lead vocals/keyboards), Ian Hultquist (keyboards/guitar), Ayad Al Adhamy (synth/samples), Jeff Apruzzese (bass/synth bass) and Nate Donmoyer (drums). All of the band members, with the exception of Angelakos, attended Berklee College of Music.




The band culled their name from the Variety Slanguage Dictionary, a glossary of Variety's frequently-used slang, which was provided by the Hollywood-insider publication to help not-so-savvy readers decipher its content. The magazine used the term to refer to drive-in theatres, because of their privacy and romantic allure for teenagers.[3] The band shares its name with a pornographic film made in the 80s, starring Traci Lords. Members of the band say they've been asked repeatedly if that film is what inspired their name but they weren't even aware of its existence until the year after their formation.[4][5]


The first Passion Pit songs, which would later become the Chunk of Change EP, were written by Angelakos as a belated Valentine's Day gift to his then-girlfriend. At first, he wrote and performed all his material alone using a laptop. After one of his solo shows in the Boston area, Ian Hultquist, who was attending Berklee at the time, approached Angelakos and expressed interest in creating and playing music collaboratively.[4] Together, they formed a group that consisted of Angelakos, Hultquist, Ayad Al Adhamy, Thom Plasse (bass), and Adam Lavinsky (drums). Due to the unconventional nature of their formation, the band spent a considerable amount of time trying to flesh out a collaborative format and structure that would work best for them, practicing together for seven months before they played their first live show. Jeff Apruzzese and Nate Donmoyer joined the band shortly after they signed to Frenchkiss in 2008, replacing Plasse and Lavinsky, respectively.[5][6]

Chunk of Change (2007–2008)

The band's debut EP, Chunk of Change, was released on September 16, 2008.[7] The first four tracks were those that Angelakos had written as a gift for his girlfriend, which had already become popular throughout the Emerson College campus, where Angelakos was attending classes at the time, and had been passing out his own, self-produced copies. Two tracks, "Sleepyhead" and "Better Things", were added for the commercial release of the EP.[8] The same year of their debut EP's release, the band was chosen as "Best New Local Act in 2008" in the WFNX/Boston Phoenix best music poll.[7]

The first and only single to be released from the EP, "Sleepyhead", received a good deal of exposure through its use in numerous media campaigns and advertisements, while the video for the song, directed by The Wilderness, was included on Pitchfork's Top 40 Music Videos of 2008 list.[9] The song contains samples of "Óró Mo Bháidín" by Irish singer and harpist Mary O'Hara.[10]

Other songs from the EP received some exposure as well. "Cuddle Fuddle" was featured in E4's second series of The Inbetweeners and "I've Got Your Number" was used in an advertisement for the cash card from O2, Money in the UK.

Manners (2009–present)

The band's first full-length studio album, Manners, was released on May 18, 2009 in the UK and May 19, 2009 in the United States and Canada.[11] In celebration, the band played their record release party on the 18th in New York City on a Rocks Off boat cruise.[12] In a preview article, commented that the album "has every chance to rank as one of the year's best" and that "it reveals additional nuances with each visit: a sure-fire sign of an album with true longevity".[13]

In order to obtain a specific background vocal accompaniment the band was looking for on Manners, Passion Pit enlisted the help of the PS22 chorus, who recorded vocals in-studio for three of the album's songs: "The Reeling", "Little Secrets", and "Let Your Love Grow Tall."[14] "The Reeling" was the first single to be released from the album and found success on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in the fall of 2009, where it peaked at number 34 in October[15] and "Little Secrets" was the third single to be released and had success on the chart as well, topping out at number 39. "Let Your Love Grow Tall" was never released as a single but had some exposure being used in the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of the TV series Ugly Betty.

The album's second single, "To Kingdom Come", was used in the Rhapsody commercial for its iPhone application.

"Sleepyhead" was the only track from Chunk of Change to be included on the album and was made available from iTunes for free as a discovery download in 2009. The song continued to receive additional exposure through its appearances in advertisements. It was used in a season 3 episode of the teen-drama, Skins and most recently in the debut trailer for LittleBigPlanet 2,[16] which led to the band's increased popularity amongst fans and players of the game, who eventually created an in-game instrumental version of the song.

The song "Moth's Wings" was used in the fourth episode of the third season of the CW teen drama Gossip Girl and in the closing credits of episode 36 of HBO's Big Love. It appeared in the FIFA 10 video game and was featured in the film Life As We Know It, starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Additionally, the track has been used as a background theme for Sky Sports' coverage of the UEFA Champions League.

In June 2009, the band performed at the Glastonbury Festival 2009 in Pilton, Somerset, England, where they dedicated the final song of their set to festival headliner Jarvis Cocker, who was to perform on the same stage later that same day.[17] Afterwards, NME, while favorably reviewing Passion Pit's performance, incorrectly reported the band as having dedicated their entire set to Cocker.[18]

On April 13, 2010, the band reissued Manners in a deluxe edition format which contained new artwork and three additional tracks: stripped-down versions of "Sleepyhead" and "Moth's Wings" and a cover of The Cranberries' song "Dreams". The deluxe release coincided with the extension of their North American headlining tour.[19]

The band released another cover in June 2010, this time offering up their take on The Smashing Pumpkins hit song "Tonight, Tonight" as part of a promotion with Levi's called "Pioneer Sessions".[20]

In July 2010, DJ Bahler, a Los Angeles-based DJ, released a Passion Pit tribute album entitled Mashin' Pit. The album consists completely of "mashup" tracks centered around either a Passion Pit song or a song from a Passion Pit side project, such as Shuttle or Aislyn, combined with samples of songs from other popular musical artists.[21]

In September 2010, Passion Pit toured with the English band Muse as their opening act for eight shows during their fall tour through parts of the U.S.[22] Following those supporting shows, the band headlined the Campus Consciousness Tour, produced by Pretty Polly Productions in collaboration with Guster guitarist Adam Gardner's non-profit organization Reverb. The two-week tour featured stops at twelve college campuses and, in addition to the music, focused on promoting eco-friendly lifestyles. Opening acts for the tour included Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and K. Flay.

In an August 2010 interview with NME, Angelakos stated that work had already begun on the follow-up to Manners and that the band intended to release the album in the spring of 2011.[23] He has since said that it will be released early in 2012.[citation needed]

Passion Pit played at Moogfest on October 30, 2011 in Asheville, North Carolina.[24]


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2009 Manners 51 19 98 123 55


Year Title Peak chart positions Album


2008 "Sleepyhead" 105 9 Manners
2009 "The Reeling" 34 90
"To Kingdom Come"
"Little Secrets" 39 48

Extended plays


Year Original artist/band Song
2009 Gotye "Learnalilgivinanlovin"
Marina and the Diamonds "I Am Not a Robot"
Phoenix "1901"
"Love Like a Sunset"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll"
2010 ARMS "Heat & Hot Water"
Dan Black "Symphonies"
Chairlift "Bruises"
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé "Telephone"
OK Go "This Too Shall Pass"
Paper Route "Tiger Teeth"
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg "California Gurls"
Ra Ra Riot "Ghost Under Rocks"
Shout Out Louds "Fall Hard"
Tegan and Sara "Alligator"
The Ting Tings "Hands"
Tokyo Police Club "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)"
Max Tundra "Which Song"
Two Door Cinema Club "Undercover Martyn"
2011 Beastie Boys "Make Some Noise"
Bruno Mars "Grenade"
Cold War Kids "Mine Is Yours"


  1. ^ Soulful heart, big beats, and lots of energy Boston Globe May 19, 2009 "While synth-pop is the overriding genre here"
  2. ^ Ambrose, Anthony. "inTuneMusic Online: Phoenix / Passion Pit / Jack's Mannequin / Manchester Orchestra @ NYC 12/2". Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  3. ^ Variety Slanguage Dictionary
  4. ^ a b "Passion Pit: Pop Not Porno". The Agit Reader. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "An interview with Passion Pit's Nate Donmoyer and Ian Hultquist". The California Aggie. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Kind of incredible". Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Chunk of Change release date". Prefix Magazine. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Passion Pit". Frenchkiss Records. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Pitchfork Staff Lists: Top 40 Music Videos of 2008". Pitchfork Media. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sleepyhead Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Passion Pit". MySpace. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  12. ^ "Passion Pit's Boat Show: We Wanted To Celebrate In A Different Way". MTV. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  13. ^ Diver, Mike (2009-03-26). "Passion Pit Album Preview". Clash. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  14. ^ "The PS22 Chorus Records Vocals for Columbia-signed Passion Pit's Full-length CD Debut!". PS22 chorus. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Passion Pit Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "LittleBigPlanet2 trailer". GameTrailers. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  17. ^ "merry england". Passion Pit. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Passion Pit dedicate Glastonbury set to Jarvis Cocker". NME. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "Passion Pit announce deluxe album release and expanded North American tour details". NME. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Passion Pit Covers Smashing Pumpkins For Levi's Pioneer Sessions". Under the Radar. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Passion Pit with Muse On Sale Tomorrow". Passion Pit. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  23. ^ "Passion Pit working on 'fantastic, beautiful, gorgeous new record' – video". NME. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Flaming Lips, Passion Pit, Crystal Castles, M83, Battles, Toro Y Moi, and More to Play Moogfest". Pitchfork. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  25. ^ "Passion Pit Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  26. ^ a b "Discography Passion Pit". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  27. ^ "Discographie Passion Pit" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  28. ^ "Discographie Passion Pit" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  29. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK – Chart Coverage and Record Sales 2009 and Special Single-File Version". Zobbel. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  30. ^ "Passion Pit Album & Song Chart History: Heatseekers Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  31. ^ "Passion Pit Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  32. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK – Chart Coverage and Record Sales 2010 and Special Single-File Version". Zobbel. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 

External links

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  • Passion pit — (titre en français : 39°5, le soir) est un film pornographique de Duck Dumont et Charles de Santos sorti en 1985. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • passion pit — noun a) A drive in theatre, with particular reference to it as a place of intimacy. The men who worked in it called it the Passion Pit in wry remembrance of other dark rooms they had known and used for more intimate and more enjoyable purposes …   Wiktionary

  • passion-pit — n. a drive in movie theatre; any place where young people go to neck, such as an area where teenagers park. (Dated but still heard.) □ She wanted me to drive down to the passion pit, but I said I had a headache. □ My mother used to tell me about… …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

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  • Passion Pit (groupe) — Cet article concerne le groupe de musique Passion Pit. Pour le film, voir Passion Pit (film). Passion Pit Pays d’origine Cambridge …   Wikipédia en Français

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