College is a crazy time; moving away from home, being on your own, and basically trying to figure out what you want to do with your life all end up creating anxiety that can be unforeseen before you get there. Top that off with confusion over girls and all of your friends leaving for their own exciting experiences away from Albuquerque and you get what the months of August and September were like for me. I had so many conflicting emotions surrounding the fact I had ended up at UNM and the fact almost every single one of my close friends had the opportunity to leave and do something new. Most of the first couple months of school I felt stuck in a rut of monotony as I started to hate myself for staying at UNM. I was hearing stories of my friend’s crazy experiences and I kept thinking to myself, why am I still in Albuquerque? But more than thinking why am I still here, I began to think why me? Why did I have to stay in Albuquerque? And that was the lowest point for me. It took me time to realize that I could do fun things in Albuquerque too; I just had to look a little harder. Throughout all this turmoil in my soul, I had Gossamer to steer me straight. An album of extreme exhilaration and ecstasy (there is no other way to describe the sound that Passion Pit creates), this album was my last connection to my friends because I had only truly gotten into it the week my friends began to leave. Every time I would listen I would remember them, I would remember the good times, and I would begin to get a little more hopeful about my self.
What truly spoke to me about this album though, was the knowledge that Michael Angelakos is and has suffered from a great depression. So great of a depression in fact, that he hates performing more than anything. When I first found this out, I thought it was a little odd because in my opinion living as a rock star and getting to perform in front of thousands of people would be truly amazing. As I began to think about it more though, I began to parallel myself with Angelakos a little. Not because I was depressed or even because of my confusion. It really was because we were both in situations that people would assume we were perfectly fine with. People assume as a rock star Angelakos would love life more than anyone. I think the same can be said for me and my reaction to staying at UNM. I know plenty of people that would look at me crazy for complaining about being here: I am going to school for free, I still know lots of people, and my family is still close. I think that speaks to the human mindset of wanting what you can’t have. I know I suffer from this affliction, and listening to Gossamer and the happy music that was being created, but knowing deep down there was infinite sadness there really had me stop and think.
This album is incredibly deeper than the synth pop auto tuned music lets on. “We all have problems, we all got something to say,” a line from “Carried Away,” is a lot scarier of a line than the ramming synth of the song really shows. People have to listen a lot closer to realize what is going on and I think that hidden meaning is what really spoke to me about this album and is what I connected with. I will admit, this is not the most complicated music, nor is it the most original. But it got me through a confusing time in my life, and for that, it deserves its spot in my top five almost more than anything else I listened to this year.