Music Video Review: “Lifted Up (1985)” by Passion Pit

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAvr6h7QvJY Its been three years since electro-pop outfit Passion Pit released their sophomore effort, Gossamer, an album that found the band exploring darker territory than in their debut Manners.

Since then, Passion Pit has done extensive touring, but still found time to hit the studio to produce their forthcoming third album, Kindred (out April 21st). On March 26th, they released a very well produced video for their lead single, “Lifted Up (1985).”

As the soft synth intro fades in, we’re presented with an aerial view of a sea of people shifting around covered in strobe lights, making the scene like a kaleidoscope. As we move down into the crowd, we spy singer Michael Angelakos in the crowd, and the main theme of the song begins.

Throughout the remainder of the video we are given a close up of Angelakos as he traverses different concert settings, and can see in great detail his varying emotions. The first setting is a mosh pit, full of frantic lights and violent shoving, and at one point Angelakos is even punched in the face! He looks scared and uncomfortable, as if he’s searching for somebody lost in the crowd.

This initial setting works well, as the autobiographical lyrics convey Angelakos’s well-publicized struggle with bipolar disorder and depression. He tells us of how his mental illness caused him to feel alone and that he didn’t believe in a Heaven. But as the chorus hits and the lights become more intense, we learn of his lover that came to him in the form of an angel.

The next setting finds Angelakos transported to a rave, typical of one you’d find at Bonnaroo. Here we are given more colors, and the people seem friendlier too. Angelakos seems happier, with a dopey smile on his face throughout. Now that he’s found his love his world has become full of new colors that he basks in.

The final scene, with its burning red and orange tones, represents Angelakos’s burning love that helped him conquer all his troubles. Through the bridge, Angelakos is the only one moving, shouting and dancing triumphantly as if he were at a Christian Rock concert (which would fit the heavenly lyrical imagery). As the final chorus hits, the crowd begins to jump with him and all is resolved.

The video does a nice job of connecting sounds, word, and image. Passion Pit’s recent releases seem to be more upbeat than in Gossamer, and perhaps have the group reviving the happier sound of Manners.