Listening to Passion Pit’s “Constant Conversations” now, it’s hard to not think that the song was ripped straight from Michael Angelakos’s personal journal.
Angelakos, who in essence is Passion Pit, famously developed the musical project as a gift to his then-girlfriend. The musical project turned into an actual idea for a band. Local success turned into national/international success. Angelakos struggles with mental illness, gets married, goes public with mental illness diagnoses, divorces wife and comes out as queer. All in less than a decade. That’s a whirlwind of personal evolution.
“Constant Conversations” is a melancholic meditation about a guy kicking himself for being a fuckup. He’s apologizing to a friend (or a partner) for being a drunk, describing himself as a “mess with a name and a price”. To Angelakos’ credit, he makes himself/the subject of the song sound hapless in a way that evokes sympathy (or empathy, if you can relate to any part of his/the song’s story).
Passion Pit ties in strongly to my life circa 2008. I was new in Boston, they (when Angelakos was still feeding the public the impression that Passion Pit was a band) were based in Boston, and I found myself working somewhat closely with them, attending every local show and just about every local promotional performance. I certainly was not aware that Michael and I shared much more than a first name at that point. Aside from the fact that I think Michael is really talented, those slowly revealed similarities have kept me invested and interested over the years, even as I’ve fallen outside their sphere on a professional level.