Sorry for the delay folks, let’s get down to business!

The “Best New Artist” award is given to the band or individual who, in the year of their debut LP’s release, shows not just exemplary talent but also a willingness and ability to present something entirely new to the musical landscape.  Think Lupe or the Arctic Monkeys in 06, or Eminem in 1999.  It isn’t enough to just have 12 good tracks, the tracks should separate the artist from nearly everything their genre has produced in recent years.

This year that honor goes to Passion Pit, who dropped their debut album Manners in 2009.  

Michael Angelako originally formed the group in 2007 in an effort to produce a few tracks to present to his girlfriend on Valentine’s day.  In the two years since, the group that came to be know as Passion Pit has gone from selling that disc for $4 dollars a piece on his college campus to creating tracks like “Moth’s Wings” that even John Mayer says is “one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time.”
The music is a blend of electronic, dance rock, and even a little bit of disco.  I hear Los Campesinos, The Bee Gees and MGMT converge onto one disc and at times I wonder if I should be upset that one band has “stolen” all these styles, or should the fact that their imitation has gone several steps beyond cheap flattery be the lasting legacy of “Manners”?  
I choose the latter.  Passion Pit did not reinvent pop music, but their innovation stands like a beacon in the middle of the ocean, a single, distant light in the far off desert, waiting for others to arrive.