You know the financial crisis has been going on for too long when bands as generally uplifting as Passion Pit can’t help but write songs about it. That’s not to say Passion Pit, founded and lead-singered by Michael Angelakos, did not just release a soundly uplifting and catchy new single. “Take a Walk” continues to perfect the upbeat, unabashed pop sound of the band’s music but is captured through a wounded and more personal filter.
The song opens with a sober introduction of flutes, accordions, and bells, that together sound sorrowful but are almost immediately replaced by a loud driving kick, happy organs and synths, and toy pianos. The song is not disjointed. It’s well-written, well-arranged pop, that leaves room for dancing, singing, reflecting, and most of all listening. In my opinion one of the best aspects of Passion Pit’s debut EP, was that it interested me as a student of music theory and player of music and as a dude in car with loud speakers. In an interview with Pitchfork, Angelakos mentions his love of trying to craft perfectly written songs, cited his major influences as Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen, among others, and mentioned his love of honesty, which apparently he claims is more and more absent from indie music nowadays.
Angelakos writes from the point of certain players in the recent financial meltdown, singing of ‘cowards’ blaming ‘socialist pigs’ for not ‘[admitting] they’re in need.’ It may sound contrived but he pulls it off simply through honesty in his lyrics. He’s telling the story of which we’ve been all been a part over the last few years and manages to convince us we might be okay, though times are still pretty shitty.