Tuesday Tunes: Thursday Edition. Passenger

This music couldn’t wait until next Tuesday. Its soft tunes and strumming strings captivate you as you get lost within. The music ranges from slow moving to upbeat, bringing in a whole slew of other listeners. Hope to captivate a few more by the end of this blog. Hope you enjoy.

The seeds of Passenger were sown when Michael Rosenberg bumped in to BAFTA-award-winning film and TV soundtrack composer Andrew Phillips at a Free Burma event in London, featuring the likes of Faithless, Travis and Horace Andy. Rosenberg had blagged a one-song solo slot and Phillips was performing with the band Slovo. They met backstage and discovered that they both lived in Brighton.

“Wicked Man’s Rest”

Mike and Andrew formed Passenger in May 2003, roughly a year after they first met. They first had to come up with a name. It took almost two years for the band, by now a quintet, to settle with the name Passenger. “I think it fits my observational style of writing … it’s the idea that you’re in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle and sort of watching the world go by and witnessing things of people’s lives and it’s about beingdisengaged, an observer, slightly outside of a situation.”

“The Last Unicorn”

Passenger spent 2006 releasing two low-key singles—”Stray Dog” and “Philadelphia”—and constantly touring the UK with lots of busking and street gigs. The songs that form their first album Wicked Man’s Rest were written over a period of two and a half years. A singer-songwriter reared on Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Van Morrison, Rosenberg had intended to make a traditional, stripped-down album based on strong melodies and his modern-day fables. Inspired by the unusual cast of characters he had come up with, Phillips gave the songs a cinematic setting, adding shimmering beats, bleeps, strings and sound effects.

“Walk in the Rain”

Passenger and ie:music released the album Wicked Man’s Rest in 2007 with the backing of investment company Ingenious Media as one of the first non-heritage artists to release under this new model. Three singles were released from the album, including “Walk You Home” (“Night Vision Binoculars” in the US), “Table for One” and “Do What You Like”.

“Night Vision Binoculars/Walk You Home”

By the completion of Wicked Man’s Rest, Passenger took to the road in earnest, performing shows with Kate Nash, Scouting for Girls, Seth Lakeman and The Hold Steady. The album was released in the USA, UK and Australia, allowing them to tour across all 3 continents through 2007 and 2008.

“Let Her Go” acoustic

In 2009, the wind changed and Mike decided to change direction, creating a whole new landscape for Passenger, formerly a five-piece band, Passenger has now pared back to the absolute basics, stripping down the music to a bare minimum. He created and self produced the intensely personal, soulful and close record “Wide Eyes Blind Love’ and was brought to the public as it was created, on the road and with support of ie:music self released the second album in May 2009.

In February of 2012 he, Mike/Passenger, released another album titled All the Little Lights. The song above, “Let Her Go” comes from that album. To preview the rest of it, find it on itunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/all-the-little-lights/id490717938

To check out more on Passenger, visit the site: http://passengermusic.com/

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