All bands have a mythology around them, and Passion Pit’s begins with a man and a woman. It goes like this: When he was a student at Emerson College, Michael Angelakos recorded a set of songs in his dorm room and gave them to his then-girlfriend as a belated Valentine’s Day present. The sweetly romantic electro-pop made it onto the Chunk of Change EP in 2008, which then made it to listeners and festival stages worldwide.
There’s another chapter of Passion Pit’s mythology, and it’s also about a man and a (different) woman. Angelakos has talked openly about his bipolar disorder, depression, and alcoholism; he has also talked about deeply loving Kristy Mucci, the woman he married. In a 2012 Pitchfork profile, he said that she stopped him from jumping out of a window during one of his manic episodes, and some of the songs on his most recent album, Gossamer, are explicitly about her. “Just believe in me, Kristina / All these demons, I can beat them,” goes one lyric that People quoted when it covered their divorce this past August.
Passion Pit’s latest extra-musical chapter began Monday, when the 28-year-old Angelakos for the first time said publicly that he’s gay. The statement came during a conversation on Bret Easton Ellis’s podcast that began (after a lengthy monologue from Ellis about Quentin Tarantino’s recent controversies) with a discussion of Angelakos’s mental-health struggles and the media’s treatment of them. “It’s pretty amazing how often my life can be condensed into a very-easy-to-rattle-off monologue,” Angelakos said, before any mention of his sexuality.