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Two Cambridge music makers have rolled out songs and videos recently, although the creators couldn’t be more different.
Passion Pit, the electropop band led by Michael Angelakos that has been cruising since its 2009 “Manners” album and its single “Sleepyhead,” released its third track from a new album Monday. The song, “Constant Conversation,” was called “stunning” and a Best New Track by Pitchfork as:
one of the prettiest songs on a record about spinning devastating heartbreak and unsupportable personal failures into something so beautiful and sunny that it just might comfort someone else, somewhere. Angelakos seems to only sing prettier the more he hurts.
The two songs released earlier from “Gossamer,” the new album, sound like a welcome continuation of the happy, dancey noise of the band’s earlier work. “Constant Conversation,” as Pitchfork says, is something different — sad, blue-eyed soul with Angelakos sorry for hurting the one he loves.
Here are the first two songs from “Gossamer”:
For a change of pace, the other video is from Sammy Adams, 24, who writes, sings and produces rap that edges into electronic dance. Until recently he was Sam Adams of “I Hate College” fame and before that was Cambridge school kid Samuel Adams Wisner (before moving to Wayland in his high school years). “I Hate College” was a surprise download hit in early 2010, even drawing rumors he’d spent $75,000 pumping up sales figures.
“Once that scandal broke out every blog was quick to say, ‘Yeah, this kid’s wack.’ People will text my friends about how much they hate me. My boy wrote me an e-mail saying that he got four calls from dudes I went to high school with saying that I wasn’t going to do anything. I’m like, ‘Dude, wake the [expletive] up, I just got on MTV, VH1 and Rolling Stone — I think I’m doing something,’” he told examiner.com’s Sherron Shabazz in 2010. “I’m getting a big backlash from the underground community. They’re like, ‘Pay your dues, pay respect.’ I’m like, ‘Dude what do you mean? I did what y’all can’t!’”
Everyone moved on. But since a January appearance on the late-night talk show of fellow “Boston boy” Conan O’Brien, Sammy Adams has been rolling out new songs — “Blow Up” in April, with a sample from yet another Boston institution, the Pixies — and “Only One” last month. It’s a love song, since Adams is singing to a girl he meets and suddenly knows is the “Only One” for him. (In “Blow Up,” he was singing about a bit of the opposite: “I roll over in the morning, random girl up in my bed.”) For those who think Adams seems kind of bro-ey, the director of the video was careful to cast a guy even bro-ier as the suddenly ex-boyfriend of that Only One. The song’s sweetness and slightly autotuned chorus are turning it into sort of a summer anthem.
MTV’s Buzzworthy Blog says Adams “is about to blow the eff up,” and it may be right, even though the item saying so can’t seem to follow the storyline of the three minute, 24-second video and seems stuck in some kind of weird slang a 47-year-old made up for a teen flick filmed in 1992 (“It’s a full-on banger … all we can focus on is Sammy’s slick rhymes and how GORG the blonde girl he’s hooking up with is. The duo ends up on a beach for a nighttime bonfire (natch), and before we know it, their clothes are off and we presume they’re naked somewhere in the ocean. Or off doing some other stuff. Scandal!”). Adams seems to be feeling pretty good about it all.