Passion Pit

Passion Pit’s Manners, the sophisticated follow-up to their 2008 EP, Chunk of Change, is a sonic party from the first note. Lead man Michael Angelakos’s mad-scientist talents have been likened to Brian Wilson, and I once read he aspired to be Randy Newman. This diversity is evident from the New York City PS22 children’s chorus creepy chants on “The Reeling,” dulcimer loops on “Moth’s Wings” and multi-layered lyrical leads on “Eyes and Candles”: I found out the secret to staying alive without actually breathing. Guest horn work of Stuart Bogie and Eric Biondo (Antibalas) stands out on four of the album’s rock-solid tunes, especially Talking Heads-esque synth-backed “Kingdom Come,” where a high-pitched Angelakos sings, I’m swimming in a pool of godly medicine. Where do I jump in?