My brother played “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit in the car for me one day during freshman year. I started laughing in shock. “What am I listening to??” My favorite music up to this point had been worship music, a few Christian singer-songwriters, and Jack Johnson (my dad’s one secular CD). Passion Pit blew my idea of music out of the water. I couldn’t wait to discover what else was out there.
Several years later, not long after moving to Austin, I sweated in line for over two hours before being allowed inside Spotify House in time for Passion Pit’s set at SXSW. I was surrounded by sticky concert-goers but Michael Angelakos still pulled me into his focused performance. I watched him closely, sensing an earnestness to him and a... sadness, maybe?
Last year, he released his latest album, Tremendous Sea Of Love. This album, I heard, was self-released as part of a campaign for mental health research. As I listened to the album and read more about his personal life, I learned of his recent openness about his struggle with bipolar disorder. I also learned of his long-approaching divorce from the love of his life after he started to question his sexuality. “Hey K” is his song to her.
I don’t know what pulled me to that song in particular, but I listened to it again and again last year. It still pulls me in, like the first time I heard him live. It speaks of love, mystery, and the hope of healing. It’s incredibly sad, because who knows if we can heal the hurts we’ve caused? It’s a desperate apology and an earnest prayer for peace. It makes me think, we’re not perfect and we will wound the ones we love, even if our intention is the opposite. Sometimes, all we can do is embrace honesty.