Artist: Passion Pit
Label: Frenchkiss Records
Indie has never been more mainstream than it was in 2009, and a portion of that was due to the surprising success of Passion Pit. In just two years, the modest band went from playing campus shows to commercials, video games and TV shows, with no signs of slowing down. With the continued proliferation of electronic music and experimentation to the masses, it's certainly not farfetched to believe that Manners is only the beginning of their continued stay atop our consciousness.
A lot of that appeal comes from the group's unabashed embrace of supposedly outdated and long-gone conventions of pop. Lead singer Michael Angelakos thrills listeners with his ecstatic and energetic approach, mixed amidst layers of bright keyboards, kid chorus background vocals and hand claps. Yet, with all of that going on, you can still reach out and touch tracks like "Make Light" and "To Kingdom Come," whose exuberance is so innocent and untainted, it's hard not to get sucked right in. Even though Manners creates a world all its own, it invites you in to enjoy it too-- its biggest asset and the reason the album gains more new listeners everyday.
Best Track: "Little Secrets"
[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Albums of 2009: #9, fun.'s Aim and Ignite]